PlasmonDetect was awarded EUR 496 012 from the EIT Crisis Response Initiative Budget.
The current standard approach for COVID-19 detection recommended by the World Health Organisation requires well-equipped laboratory facilities, highly skilled technologists and a wait for results. Due to infrastructure limitations and supply shortages, the amount of testing that can be done through this method does not come close to meeting the growing demand for COVID-19 diagnostics. Most countries have to limit testing to include only vulnerable patients, healthcare workers and patients requiring hospitalisation. This creates a testing bottleneck, leading to delayed diagnostics and treatment and prevents determination of the true number of infected people, thereby hampering initiatives aimed at containment, mitigation and suppression of COVID-19.
To overcome the drawbacks of the current standard for testing, PlasmonDetect proposes a novel molecular diagnostic technology called “plasmonic strand-displacement amplification assay” for rapid detection of COVID-19. This technology unites several disciplines and harnesses scientific advances in molecular biology and nanotechnology. The process allows for fast, efficient and highly specific detection of viral RNA, at room temperature. The technology is cost-effective, does not require special instruments, and could prove to be a valuable tool for on-site testing in a variety of settings.
The ability to diagnose COVID-19 with a rapid, cost-effective method, which does not require instruments and can be used in a variety of settings, will allow for a significant increase in testing, leading to an improvement in society’s response to the pandemic.
EIT Health Partner