How engineers are collaborating with Medical Personnels to Increase Testing for COVID-19

Around the world companies and increasingly individuals are racing to find ways to accurately test people for the coronavirus

The situation is changing daily if not hourly,

We simply don’t have mass testing available for population

Sir Patrick, Chief Scientist Adviser UK government

There are two types of test being worked on, diagnostic test which identify people who currently have corona virus and antibody test which look for antibodies in the blood to see if a person ever had the virus in their system and if they did when?

The diagnostic test is primarily based on the technology called PCR, Polymerase chain reaction, this is a standard molecular technique that identifies the genetic material of the virus from the throat or nose swap

Special Emergency use authorization from the American food and drug administration (FDA) has enabled two companies to ramp up coronavirus testing in the US , one of these companies is the swiss company Roche, Roche uses its compose machines which are already in many hospitals across the country to increase the number of people who can be tested at once, the other is Thermofisher which uses it applied biosystems PCR instruments the company aims to produce 5 million test for this mission by early April

But it’s not just big companies getting involved in test efforts

In west London a community of open source scientist, engineers and microbiologist working out of shipping companies are trying to help, from using personalized medicine and DNA sequencing, to bioelectronics and biomaterials

Opencell is implementing a portable lab solution out of a shipping company, hoping to achieve millions testing through PCR diagnostics test, but these are open source projects rather than proprietary which will go a long way to reduce the cost of testing

The University of Leicester is working on a face mask test which works by sticking a Face mask with 3D printed strips inside whereby the mask can show whether the person is breathing out the virus, this could be use to test thousands of people

Oxford Scientist have developed an ultrasensitive test which returns the results in 30 mins and could be deployed to remote areas around the world, its sensitive and can detect whether someone is in the early stage which could potentially slow down the transmission of the virus

giving more test out to countries and Detecting the virus in its early stages could provide the data accurately needed to track this virus



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