Researchers of a Hong Kong university have invented a portable device to detect the deadly novel coronavirus that reduces the whole procedure from sampling to testing to merely 40 minutes.
With the latest microfluidic chip technology, the device heats up testing samples by 30 degrees Celsius per second, improving significantly from the current 4-5 degrees per second, according to Xinhua news agency quoted a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology statement as saying on Thursday.
The speed of temperature change is the key that determines the efficiency of the detection, the faster the temperature rises, the shorter a device can come up with the test result, the researchers said.
The invention was jointly made by a research team of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology led by Professor Wen Weijia and a Shenzhen-based biotechnology startup company, co-founded by Wen and his doctoral graduate Gao Yibo.
The researchers came up with the testing kit within a week after obtaining the new coronavirus sequence on January 20.
The equipment set has been in use by disease control and prevention centers in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province, and two more sets were being delivered to the centre of China’s Hubei province.
The invention has obtained international CE certification (EU standard).