SARS-CoV-2 laboratory testing takes more time and effort, which most would resort to if an examination is needed. A new at-home COVID-19 test kit is being devised that is easy to use and gives faster results with 90% accuracy.

Using this test will not need any complex analysis of results, and sick people can avoid going to a lab without waiting too long for results. This test kit will be a gamechanger since it is easy to use after researchers devise this self-diagnostic tool.

COVID-19 at-home testing kit innovation provides accurate results

It is under development by Penn State Researchers who devised this cheap and precise home-use kit, which checks the saliva for signs of infection, reported SciTech Daily.

Compared to the simple way that pregnancy and glucose monitor works, one advantage of the kit is that it is geared for the best sensitivity to detect the virus.

This innovation came about with a three-year grant of $590,800 from the National Institutes of Health and other important organizations. It also got the Bioengineering Trailblazer Award for its invention.

The lead researcher Aida Ebrahimi, whose expertise in electrical and biomedical engineering, designed and developed planning of the final kit takes 30 minutes to process results, and is 90% accurate too, cited California News-Times.

She added that the kit could help stop the spread of the virus by catching signs before full-blown infection, whether symptoms or asymptomatic individuals.

The Ebrahimi Bioanalytical and Biosensor Lab will utilize inactive SARS-CoV-2 viral particles to check the specific electrical properties. Detecting the reaction of all materials as it is exposed to an electric field to probe a material-specific response in-home use COVID-19 test kit sensor.

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Finding how the viral particles react to the specific device is key to the process. An electric field is used for a dual amplification method to achieve sensitivity and detect viral bits in saliva.

This new sensor is much cheaper and has the extra advantage of having the means to reach a sensitivity while the kit does not need expensive tools used in its manufacture.

The kit sensor provides accurate results in 30 minutes

Sensors will detect viral particles with these two methods to detect minute viral particles in the saliva sample, which will have better chances of detection than most conventional ways.

Electrodes with a small charge will catch viral particles to stimulate redox cycling is an electrochemical process that detects the amped-up viral particles. With the dual amplification of the viral bits, there would be enough sensitivity caused by the electric current to see the particles. If people can use this kit to test for infection, spreading the virus will be avoided, noted Tech Live.

Part of the process is cost-effective photolithography, which uses light to see patterns on a photosensitive surface. Patterns are used to identify viral particles from the saliva sample to the sensor part of the kit.

 Ebrahimi and her team will go to the next steps needed to design and then manufacture the final prototype of the new at-home use COVID-19 test kit. As the last part of the research and development, that will be used to determine if it works with inactive virus particles.

Then, they will work with Suresh Kuchipudi, head of the microbiology section in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, for the safe trials of the kit. Ebrahimi added the concept is not limited to SARS-CoV-2 detection, and it can be applied to other diseases, there would be more beneficial for the home kit.

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