A team of researchers at New York University has developed a technique using holographic imaging to detect viruses as well as antibodies. The breakthrough development has the potential to aid medical diagnoses, especially those related to COVID-19 pandemic.
“The approach of the research has been based on physical principles, and such an approach has not been previously used for diagnostic testing,” said one of the researchers of the project. With the technique, viruses and antibodies can be detected by literally watching them stick to specially prepared test beads.
Method holds scope to further reduce testing time
Once completely realized, the proposed method could be completed in less than 30 minutes, can be carried out by minimally trained personnel, and is highly accurate. Further, the method can test for either the infection (virus) or antibodies (immunity).
Meanwhile, the researchers based their test on holographic video microscopy, which employs laser beams for recording holograms of test beads. The surfaces of the beads are turned on with biochemical binding sites that entice either virus particles or antibodies, depending on the intended test. With the binding of viruses or antibodies, the beads grow by a few billionths of a meter. And, this change can be detected via the beads’ holograms, show NYU researchers.
“A dozen beads analyzed per second,” said one of the associates of the project. This implies the time for reliable diagnostic of thousand beads can be decreased to 20 minutes. And, the change in the bead can be measured reliably, rapidly, and inexpensively.
xSight – the instrument for holographic video microscopy is created by Spheryx, a New York-based company.
Besides this, the scientists noted the evaluated of their method.