New tool uses sugars to detect Covid-19 on-spot

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 26, 2020 Published on September 26, 2020

Researchers at the University of Warwick found a tool that can detect coronavirus using sugars, and not only its proteins. The tool will likely help in the timely diagnosis of the virus, as per the University’s official release.

The new device uses glycans (sugars) to detect the virus. It is very similar to a home pregnancy test.

Researchers said in a statement: “Our team has now been able to show that this detection technique works with a pseudotyped virus’; a safer to handle alternative which mimics SARS-COV-2.”

They added: “This further demonstrated that the diagnostic arrangement can detect actual viruses not only the isolated proteins from its surface.”

Additional findings

They added in their study that the additional results have enabled them find out more about how the detection limits can be optimized and how a sample needs to be introduced to the device, which is crucial.

The next stage is individual samples and understanding how sensitive the device is and really thinking about how it might be used alongside existing diagnostic tools, they added.

Researchers noted that the tool makes use of glyco-nanomaterials to discover a specific portion of the coronavirus.

Commenting on the new device, Dr. James Lapworth, Warwick Innovations, said in an official statement: “There is an urgent, global need to improve diagnostic testing capacity for Covid-19 infections. This new approach potentially offers significant benefits since it delivers an extremely rapid result and requires no specialist lab equipment or training to complete.”

He added: “The result is that people could determine very quickly whether they have a current infection and take appropriate actions, for example to self-isolate.”

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Published on September 26, 2020
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