by Pooja Shete on  January 11, 2021 at 12:43 PM Coronavirus News
Rapid Antibody Testing For COVID-19
An advanced nanomaterial-based biosensing platform has been found by the researchers that detects antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic within seconds. Additional to testing, this platform will help to quantify patient immunological response to the new vaccines with precision.

The study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and the UPMC is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

The testing platform identified the presence of two virus antibodies- spike S1 protein and receptor binding domain (RBD), in a very small drop of blood. Antibody concentrations can also be detected in low concentrations and this detection happens through an electrochemical reaction within a handheld microfluidic device which sends results almost immediately to a simple interface on a smart phone.

Rahul Panat, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon said, " We utilized the latest advances in materials and manufacturing such as nanoparticle 3D printing to create a device that rapidly detects COVID-19 antibodies."

The efficiency and accuracy of the testing platform are due to an additive manufacturing technology called aerosol jet 3D printing.

An additive manufacturing technology called aerosol jet 3D printing is responsible for the efficiency and accuracy of the testing platform. As the reaction between the antibody and antigen used in the device is highly selective, the test has a very low error rate. The researchers used this natural design to their advantage.

The result of this study comes at an urgent time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panat said, "Because our technique can quantify the immune response to vaccination, it is very relevant in the current environment."

Panat collaborated with the leader of the cancer virology program at UPMC's Hillman Cancer Center and professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Pitt, Shou-Jiang Gao. The lead author of the study is Azahar Ali, a researcher in Panat's Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Lab.

Beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, rapid diagnosis for the treatment and prevention of communicable diseases is a public health issue. This sensing platform can be used for the rapid detection of biomarkers for other infectious agents such as Ebola, HIV, and Zika. This is a quick and effective test that could be a game-changer for controlling the spread of diseases.

Source: Medindia

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