New fast and Accurate COVID-19 test
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New Fast And Accurate COVID-19 Test Developed By Scientists

Kits relying on Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) had been using for testing millions for the novel coronavirus. This sensitive method can detect even tiny amounts of the virus by amplifying SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs. However, the laboratory workforce is showing signs of strain as the pandemic surges.

Researchers have now developed a potentially more accurate diagnostic relying on plasmonic photothermal sensing, according to the study published in ACS Nano.

Aggressive testing is crucial for controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, due to limited supplies of some reagents, testing has lagged behind in many countries, including the US. A backlog of samples is waiting for laboratory personnel and PCR machines to be available. Moreover, a number of false positive and false negative results have been reported. Quick or real-time results cannot be obtained through other methods like culturing and computed tomography (known as “CT”) scanning

Jing Wang and colleagues wanted to develop an accurate and practical alternative to PCR test to detect COVID-19.

Localized surface plasmon resonance, a technique that can detect interactions between molecules on the surface of a constructed metallic nanostructure as a local change in the

refractive index, was used for this test.

The team attached gold nanoparticles with DNA probes that identified specific SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequences. When the team added viral RNA, they got attached to the complementary probes like a zipper lock.

To make it more difficult for the mismatched sequences to remain attached, the team heated up the nanoparticles using a laser. This reduced the chance of false-positives. For example, nucleic acids with a partial mismatch would unzip under these conditions.

Even SARS-CoV-2 can be distinguished from its close relative SARS-CoV-1 using this method. This new fast and accurate COVID-19 test could detect even low amounts of viral RNA, less than those usually present in respiratory swabs. The assay needs to be tested on samples from patients, but it could definitely reduce the pressure on PCR based tests.



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