In a bid to limit the ravage of COVID-19, numerous research carried out worldwide for early stage detection of the virus SARS-Cov-2. In one such initiative, a pharmacologist, biophysicist, and biomedical engineer at John Hopkins are combining their knowledge to design a device that can detect has antibodies linked to coronavirus of COVID-19.
To develop a detector that can be used rapidly and inexpensively across the globe, the researchers got their inspiration from a glucose monitor. Meanwhile, glucose test is used by millions of people worldwide.
Research involves reconfigure of glucose test monitor
To test blood sugar level using a glucose monitor, people with diabetes prick blood from their finger and place it on a paper test strip that is inserted into the monitor. Likewise, with some reconfiguration of the tool, using a series of chemical reactions, glucose in the blood can be detected that occur when antibodies are detected in the blood.
First, in order to reconfigure the monitor, the researchers created a test strip that carries the spike protein from the surface of coronavirus of COVID-19. It involves adding a drop of blood of the patient, for the spike protein to attach to COVID-19-related antibodies present in the blood. Thereafter, the strip dipped in a tube with an enzyme that attaches to the COVID-19 antibodies. The excess enzyme washed off, and the strip inserted into a solution containing a molecule that is converted by the enzyme into glucose. At the final stage, a commercial glucose monitor records the amount of glucose existing on the test strip. Meanwhile, the test strip is a substitute for COVID-19 antibodies present in the blood sample of the patient.