A researcher from the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) has come up with an innovative diagnostic kit that claims to detect the COVID-19 virus within 12 seconds. The equipment has been patented in India and the researcher has also applied for a patent at Geneva.
T. Arokiyadoss, Assistant Professor and in-charge head of the Department of Physics at the Directorate of Distance Education, developed the diagnostic kit based on lab-on-a-chip technology, The Hindu reported.
The research team included B. Ashokkumar, Associate Professor, Genetic Engineering Department, and P. Varalakshmi, Assistant Professor in the Molecular Microbiology Department. M. Krishnan, the then Vice-Chancellor of the university, partly funded the research.
Direct Interaction With COVID-19 Virus
"The RT-PCR kit takes 30 minutes to do the test, but our kit requires just 12 seconds. It directly interacts with the VID-19 virus. When this virus enters the human body, it attaches itself to ACE2 (antigen converting enzyme 2) and multiplies. Our kit takes the mRNA from the virus, amplifies and quantifies it," Arokiyadoss told The Hindu.
The researchers then sought the help of Madurai Medical College officials, including former Dean J. Shangumani, and the college's Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, Institute of Microbiology, to test this kit. Later, the college formed an ethical clearance board to approve the proposal.
As many as 200 swab samples from COVID-19 positive people were taken to judge the performance of the kit.
"We were provided 3 ml from the sample while another 3 ml were given for the RT-PCR test. Both the kits showed similar results," he explained.