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September 9, 2020

Low-cost chip detects presence and quantity of Covid-19 antibodies

By Chloe Kent

A device described in a proof-of-concept study published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics uses portable lab-on-a-chip technology to accurately measure the concentration of Covid-19 antibodies present in diluted blood plasma.

Most nations have failed to employ large-scale antibody testing thus far, as the tests can be costly and need to be carried out in a lab by trained operators.

The lab-on-a-chip, which has been developed at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, bypasses this need by combining powerful light-sensing technology with a microfluidic chip. The chip provides results within 30 minutes and is highly sensitive, detecting even the lowest clinically-relevant antibody concentration.

The devices are cheap to manufacture and do not need to be used in a lab or operated by specially trained personnel, increasing the feasibility of nationwide testing.

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