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HomeTechnologyRapid Covid detection with 3D-created breath test – US study

Rapid Covid detection with 3D-created breath test – US study

A device created by researchers can detect SARS-CoV-2 in just one or two breaths and provide results in less than one minute, and would be more accurate than at-home tests and faster than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or swab-based tests, which can take at least 15 minutes to produce results.

The device, created by 3D printers at Washington University, was tested using eight participants (two negative for Covid-19, six positive as indicated by PCR testing), who breathed two, four, and eight times into a flexible tube.

The breath test provided no false results, with accurate results obtained after two breaths for each participant, reports CIDRAP.

“With this test, there are no nasal swabs and no waiting 15 minutes for results, as with home tests,” said study author Rajan Chakrabarty, PhD, of the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University.

“A person simply blows into a tube in the device, and an electrochemical biosensor detects whether the virus is there. Results are available in about a minute.”

Technology could be used for other viruses

The technology grew out of tests built to detect amyloid beta and other Alzheimer’s disease–related proteins in the brains of mice.

Using SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from llamas, researchers were able to adapt the test for Covid-19, and they said the test could be easily changed to test for influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), or even an emerging respiratory pathogen.

“Importantly, the electrochemical biosensor directly detects the virus itself, as opposed to a surrogate or signature of the virus, and is sensitive to as few as 10 viral particles in a sample,” they said in the study.

The authors said Y2X Life Sciences, a New York–based company, has an exclusive option to license the technology for further development.

Study details

Rapid Direct Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols in Exhaled Breath at the Point of Care

Dishit Ghumra, Nishit Shetty, Rajan Chakrabarty, et al.

Published in ACS Sensors on 27 July 2023

Abstract
Airborne transmission via virus-laden aerosols is a dominant route for the transmission of respiratory diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Direct, non-invasive screening of respiratory virus aerosols in patients has been a long-standing technical challenge. Here, we introduce a point-of-care testing platform that directly detects SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in as little as two exhaled breaths of patients and provides results in under 60 s. It integrates a hand-held breath aerosol collector and a llama-derived, SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein specific nanobody bound to an ultrasensitive micro-immunoelectrode biosensor, which detects the oxidation of tyrosine amino acids present in SARS-CoV-2 viral particles. Laboratory and clinical trial results were within 20% of those obtained using standard testing methods. Importantly, the electrochemical biosensor directly detects the virus itself, as opposed to a surrogate or signature of the virus, and is sensitive to as little as 10 viral particles in a sample. Our platform holds the potential to be adapted for multiplexed detection of different respiratory viruses. It provides a rapid and non-invasive alternative to conventional viral diagnostics.

 

ACS Sensors article – Rapid Direct Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols in Exhaled Breath at the Point of Care

 

CIDRAP article – New breath test shows promise for rapid COVID-19 detection (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Smell test for COVID transmission 'high impact and cost effective’ — University of Colorado

 

Covid DIY home tests available off the shelf in SA soon

 

Home testing is ‘single most powerful tool' in reducing COVID transmission’

 

UK regulator gives go-ahead to 20-second COVID-19 test

 

FDA authorises use of rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test

 

 

 

 

 

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