COVID breath-testing – could it be next? New NZ research says yes!
Anyone who’s experienced a sharp swab up the nose and a tense, isolated wait for results will surely be interested in a pain-free COVID test with a speedy result delivered in minutes, not days.
From left: University of Canterbury researchers postdoctoral fellow Dr Fiona Given and Associate Professor Deborah Crittenden at the Biomolecular Interaction Centre.
“We’ve developed a new approach to detecting COVID-19 viral proteins that is sensitive and accurate enough to directly detect coronavirus particles at biologically relevant levels, specifically in breath or saliva samples,” says the paper’s co-author, UC biochemist Associate Professor Deborah Crittenden.
The new scientific paper ‘Optical Detection of CoV-SARS-2 Viral Proteins to Sub-Picomolar Concentrations’ was published recently in ACS Omega, a journal of the American Chemical Society.
Associate Professor Crittenden, of UC’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, brought together the MacDiarmid Institute’s expertise in sensing measurements, Callaghan Innovation’s ability to make the target protein, and the biochemical analysis skills of researchers within UC’s Biomolecular Interaction Centre.
The result is a proof of principle for a new COVID-sensing test that could dramatically decrease turn-around times for testing, and increase the volume of tests that can be performed.