New COVID-19 test quickly and accurately detects viral RNA
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The American Chemical Society (ACS) Nano has developed a potentially more accurate diagnostic based on plasmonic photothermal sensing, and it could help relieve the current pressure on PCR-based tests, the researchers say.

Currently used method, Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a sensitive method that amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that tiny amounts of the virus can be detected. However, as the pandemic surges, this laboratory workhorse is showing signs of strain.

#Technique: Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance

- Detects interactions between molecules on the surface of a constructed metallic nanostructure as a local change in the refractive index.

- Made DNA probes that recognized specific SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequences,

- Attached them to gold nanoparticles.
When they added pieces of the virus’s genome, the RNA attached to the complementary probes like a zipper being closed.

- Used a laser to heat up the nanoparticles, making it more difficult for imperfectly matched sequences to remain attached, reducing false-positives.

In this way, the researchers could discriminate between SARS-CoV-2 and its close relative, SARS-CoV-1. The assay detected amounts of viral RNA below those present in respiratory swabs in a matter of minutes.

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Dr. S●●●●●m S●●●●y P●●●●●l General Medicine
Apr 18, 2020Like1