A new invention developed by an Israel-based company might finally help us fight against the deadly Coronavirus which has been named COVID-19 that has claimed more than 1,700 lives and infected over 70,000 people in mainland China.
The current methods used to diagnose whether an individual is infected with the deadly virus takes approximately an hour. However, new tech, which combines the use of optics and magnetic particles, can quickly test a 100 samples of patients infected with the virus and bring down the time taken to diagnose the disease by an impressive 75 percent, as reported by News Medical.
Israeli tech reduces Coronovirus diagnostic time significantly
The time taken to diagnose coronavirus using existing methods is one of the greatest challenges faced by doctors and medical examiners when it comes to treating infected patients and curbing further spread of the disease. The new technology, developed by Dr Amos Danielli, of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan University, can help analyse saliva tests within 15 minutes.
The new invention has already successfully been used to reduce the diagnostic time of Zika virus and is currently employed by the Israel Ministry of Health's central virology laboratory at Tel Hashomer Hospital.
How does it work?
Danielli explained that the general method used to test someone positive for a virus requires attaching the virus' RNA to a fluorescent molecule that emits light when illuminated by a laser beam. However, when using this method, the concentration of RNA is very low, and as a result, the signal emitted is quite weak. So, for existing devices to detect the virus, the sequence has to be duplicated multiple times.
"We have found a way that only required 5 or 6 duplication cycles as opposed to 30, by adding magnetic particles that help us concentrate the fluorescent molecules and aggregate them inside the laser beam, thereby multiplying the signal strength by several orders of magnitude," he noted.
The technology is being used by MagBiosense, a medical device company, to develop a private medical device the size of a home coffee machine to help diagnose infectious diseases. Danielli's coronavirus diagnosis kit might help us fight the deadly outbreak as experts struggle to find a cure for the virus but he's looking for an investor to speed up the development of the kit, so it can start being used in hospitals.