Project Details

Description

Ramping up testing for COVID-19 emerging mutations as soon as possible is the only viable solution for managing this virus pandemic, without having to resort to restrictions paralyzing our economy. Nonetheless, there is a limit to testing laboratories, whilst the recently deployed, low-technology rapid tests have proven quite inefficient. But what if we could multiply the testing sites at the community level, minimizing the time-to-result for each test to few minutes? Miniaturized Lab-on-PCB microchips like the applicant’s published work on miniaturized PCR devices have proven this potential, implementing on few cm2 microchips DNA amplification protocols (PCR and LAMP) within 5-10 minutes, at gold standard PCR-test efficiency levels. Within this project, these proven devices will be extended to sample-in-answer-out-tests, meeting the requirements for mass deployment at the point-of-need (workplace, schools, events venues).

The aim is to have the system ready for testing with patient samples within 9 months and benchmarked against laboratory standards within the last 3 months of the project. The immediate next steps involve commercialization via the collaborating company, with use case planning for mass deployment of the tests in communities across the UK. This research builds on the Lab-on-PCB manufacturing process developed for integrated biomedical diagnostic microsystems during the EPSRC eFUTURES grant EP/L025450. It also builds on the prototype COVID-19 diagnostic system developed within the framework of QR GCRF 2020/21 for low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This project will enable taking this prototype one step further, towards a fully functional prototype for deployment within the UK community
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/05/2130/06/22

Funding

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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