Even though the peak of corona has passed in India, the outbreak of Covid-19 has not reduced in the whole country. Thousands of new Covid-19 cases are coming in the country every day. Apart from this, many people are also dying due to Covid-19 in the country. Whole county continues to battle throughout the Covid-19.
Now to help in this battle, scientists at IIT-Kharagpur have invented a new disruptive technology that can prove to be a game-changer. This is a testing kit that will give accurate test results within hours. The name of this testing kit is Milo ‘COVIRAP’.
Portable Testing Kit
Scientists at IIT Kharagpur claim that the device is portable, inexpensive, has a high degree of accuracy and can be operated by the average citizen. The cost of RRT-PCR testing machines is an average of Rs 25 lakh, with additional cost to operate the infrastructure. However, he claims, the new COVIRAP machine costs Rs 5,000, with an operating cost of Rs 500 per test.
Know how testing kit works
Regarding the working of the testing kit, scientist Suman said that once the test sample is extracted, it is put into a set of master mixers and heated in the machine. The mixture is heated for a set time. This process, along with other processes, transformed RNA into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), stabilizing the sample. It is then added to another set of master mixtures, where DNA is photocopied into multiple samples.
Further explained that the problem with this type of isothermal (constant temperature) molecular diagnostic tests is the heating process, which requires a controlled environment to facilitate molecular diagnosis, our patented innovation, COVIRAP, ensures that deficiencies are of the highest accuracy Is carried away to bring the level.
Once the sample undergoes the procedure, it is cooled and immersed in paper strips similar to pregnancy test strips. If a line called ‘line test line’ appears in the strip in the identified locations, the presence of the virus is confirmed, and the test becomes positive. If the color of the strip remains the same, the test turns out to be negative.
A COVIRAP app is programmed to detect faint lines in strips. The app uses the smartphone’s in-built camera to detect line patterns, then process and display the results. All procedures are completed in one hour, and this allows ten tests to be run simultaneously.
The testing machine is certified by the Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NADED).
Using the same isothermal molecular diagnostic technique, the machine can be used to diagnose other diseases. Diseases such as influenza, malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, tuberculosis, vector-borne diseases and other infections can be detected. Testing machines can virtually reduce the need for thermal cyclers or real-time PCR machines, without sacrificing the expected high standards of molecular diagnostic testing.
But, it was very challenging to imagine a COVIRAP machine in the midst of lockdown, coupled with rigorous testing demands and ICMR’s strict guidelines.
It is better than antigen testing kit: scientist
IIT-Kharagpur’s portable COVIRAP box tests COVID-19 for Rs 500.
The app helps bring greater accuracy to the test.
The scientist also stated that COVIRAP was better than the antigen test kit, as it brings accuracy closer to lab tests. “The issue with antigen testing is that it depends on proteins that cannot be amplified. Here, we amplify DNA – which becomes a very strong basis,” the scientist says.
Scientists are already in the process of making the product commercially viable and have invited startups to play a leading role in using testing machines.
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