Northwestern University has shown how RT-PCR testing kits can remain shelf-stable for a period of upto 30 days and in scorching heat having temperature upto 50 degree celsius.
Covid-19 pandemic has made a large section of people aware about the logistical bottlenecks faced by temperature-sensitive drugs and medicines during their transport, storage and usage at different locations. Logistical challenges came to the fore in case of storing and transporting ultra-sensitive vaccines like that developed by Pfizer and Moderna which need deep-freezing.
However vaccines are not alone which pose such logistical challenges and there is a range of medical equipment, drugs, testing kits including RT-PCR Covid-19 testing kit which are temperature sensitive and require unique solutions. A new research conducted by the Northwestern University has shown how RT-PCR testing kits can remain shelf-stable for a period of upto 30 days and in scorching heat having temperature upto 50 degree celsius. The breakthrough has the potential to solve a substantial number of logistical and infrastructural challenges faced more acutely by the developing countries.
The University researchers released a press release which said that the commercially available RT-PCR test kits can actually tolerate upto 50 degree celsius of temperature upto a month’s time without any negative impact on their efficacy, sensitivity and accuracy. The researchers found that the testing reagents of the kit can be pre-mixed with a standard preservative and then freeze dried to extend its shelf life to 30 days. The researchers also said that post the process of dry-freezing, the kits can be distributed and stored at room temperature without any additional precautions. At the time of testing, the health workers can conveniently add water to the solution to make it hydrated and available for immediate use.