(Fighting against New Coronary Pneumonia) The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has developed a portable new coronavirus antibody detector

  China News Service, Hong Kong, May 26. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) said on the 26th that a research team from the Department of Applied Physics of the school has successfully developed a highly sensitive portable novel coronavirus antibody detector using organic electrochemical transistor technology (OECT). .

  According to a press release issued by PolyU, currently to test whether the human body has the new coronavirus "immunoglobulin G antibody (IgG)", it is necessary to go to a hospital or a professional testing institution to take a serum sample, and use large medical equipment to carry out the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ) to test the antibody concentration, it takes about two days from the test to the result, and the detection cost is high.

As for another rapid antibody diagnosis scheme by lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA), its sensitivity is lower and cannot measure the level of antibody content.

  The COVID-19 antibody detector developed by the PolyU research team has the advantages of high sensitivity, portability, speed, easy operation and low cost.

The test procedure is very simple. First start the tester, connect the tester to the mobile phone application via Bluetooth, drop the saliva (serum can also be used) sample on the transistor test area of ​​the tester, and let the antibody react with the antigen. The saliva sample is aspirated and electrolytes are dropped on the test area.

Press the button on the mobile app to start the test, and after about 20 seconds, the mobile app will display the antibody level of the saliva sample.

  According to PolyU, the entire testing process using this antibody detector takes less than 6 minutes and costs only about HK$10 per test.

The antibody detector can detect the concentration of antibodies sufficient to cover the antibody level in human saliva, which is in line with the sensitivity required for fine analysis of saliva.

  Yan Feng, a professor in the Department of Applied Physics at PolyU, who is in charge of the research project, said that the research uses a new technology to apply a voltage pulse to the gate of the transistor, which can accelerate the reaction between the "immunoglobulin G antibody" and the antigen, greatly reducing the entire detection process. The time required, and the process is non-invasive, that is, only saliva is required without blood drawing, and a self-sampling detection mode can be developed.

In addition, the detector only needs to cooperate with the mobile phone to operate and check the results, which is very simple and convenient, and is suitable for scenarios that require instant detection and a large number of screening work.

  It is reported that the next step of the research team is to apply for research funding to conduct clinical research, which will be in cooperation with different medical and testing institutions.

The team expects that the research results can be launched on the market as soon as possible, and that this new detector can be applied to detect antibodies against other viruses, contributing to the fight against different diseases, as well as epidemiological analysis and vaccine development.