Israeli, German researchers develop rapid, efficient sensing COVID-19 test

JERUSALEM, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Israeli and German researchers have developed a rapid and precise sensing coronavirus test that circumvents the common PCR test's errors, the northern Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) said on Monday.

File photo: Agencies

The new technique can identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in a sample by counting and quantifying the virus' RNA molecules with single-molecule precision.

According to the Technion, sensing is not biased by PCR amplification errors, permitting future development of a more accurate clinical diagnostic technique.

The research, published in the journal ACS Nano, was conducted by Technion researchers, in collaboration with Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine and Charite Hospital, both located in Berlin.

Today's PCR testing requires large quantities of special reagents, expensive lab equipment, and highly trained professionals.

Moreover, recent studies have shown that test results can change from one day to the next and that the massive amplification process can generate significant errors.

The new method, however, analyzes individual biological molecules from much smaller samples, by using nanofabricated holes ("nanopores") to sense single biological molecules.

It uses strong electrical field to unfold and thread individual DNA molecules through the nanoscopic hole containing electrical or optical sensors.

Each molecule that passes through the hole gives a characteristic "signature," which enables identification and immediate counting of the molecules. Enditem