Low-cost Rapid test device for COVID-19 | Fusion - WeRIndia

Low-cost Rapid test device for COVID-19

Low-cost Rapid test device for COVID-19

As COVID-19 has become a tough challenge to scientists, researchers and healthcare workers across the globe, they are working hard to develop new diagnostic devices, medicines, vaccines etc.

In this context, the researchers of IIT-Kharagpur developed a unique portable testing device for COVID-19. This rapid testing device can reveal the result within an hour.

Besides, it is less expensive. The test can be conducted for less than ₹400 per sample while the device is priced at ₹2,000.

Moreover, no manual interpretation is essential for this test and the results can be accessed from a smartphone application.

Currently, RT-PCR is the standard test for COVID-19. It is time-consuming and requires huge machinery. Experienced personnel are needed to conduct the test.

Hence, the researchers of IIT-Kharagpur developed a device to replace the RT-PCR machine.

The portable low-cost device works on the principles of microfluidics. It produces a simple paper-strip to run the chemical analysis after the oral swabs are inserted into the machine. The device will deliver the results on a mobile application after the completion of the chemical analysis.

By just replacing the paper cartridge, the device can be used for many tests.

Since it is a portable device, it can be used anywhere and by anybody. No technical knowledge is essential to operate the machine.

However, wearing necessary protective gear is essential. Both oral and nasopharyngeal swabs can be used to test on the machine.

As the team does not have access to patients, the researchers created synthetic RNA, a replica of viral RNA extracted from infected patients. They tested it on RT PCR machines to compare the results.

500 tests have been analyzed on the low-cost device so far and confirmed that their results were similar to that of the RT PCR machine.

The device can also detect other respiratory diseases like influenza if the chemical reagent is changed.

Image Credit: The Indian Express Website Screenshot

Image Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/iit-kharagpur-researchers-develop-ultra-low-cost-machine-for-rapid-covid-19-detection-6523006/

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