Covid-19 : Scientists develop testing device capable of testing thousands of swabs in one go

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July 08, 2021 12:09 PM

The scientists were able to test more than 80,000 tests in a period of two months using the same testing platform with effective sensitivity and specificity reported in the device.

Dr Arboleda also said that the mass scale testing will come to aid in stemming the tide of Coronavirus among huge populations.Dr Arboleda also said that the mass scale testing will come to aid in stemming the tide of Coronavirus among huge populations. (Representative image)

Even as the spread of Coronavirus has considerably slowed down in most parts of the world, health scientists working on the field are not leaving anything to chance and continuing to develop newer and more feasible testing kits, vaccines among others. In a recent breakthrough, a group of scientists from the University of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a testing platform which is capable of testing thousands of samples for Coronavirus in one go. The scientists were able to test more than 80,000 tests in a period of two months using the same testing platform with effective sensitivity and specificity reported in the device, the Indian Express reported.

Named SwabSeq, the device relies on using the molecular barcodes which enables it to test thousands of swab samples for Coronavirus in one go. With newer variants of Coronavirus feared to be many times more infectious, the device could prove useful in testing the swab samples of a large number of people inhabiting the same locality. The platform SwabSeq on account of its effective practical results has also been granted with the Emergency Use Authorization by the American regulator and has been currently deployed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) laboratory. Cumulatively, the device has been able to test more than 1.5 lakh samples since December 2020.

The authors of the research were quoted as saying that they are working on making the platform deployable at a large scale and at an economic cost. Dr Valerie Arboleda, lead scientist on the project said that the platform has the potential to be used at an unprecedentedly large scale in mass testing. Dr Arboleda also said that the mass scale testing will come to aid in stemming the tide of Coronavirus among huge populations.

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