Texas Tech researchers create ‘ultrafast’ COVID test
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech researchers are set to change the game for COVID-19 testing.
Back in 2020, we brought you the early prototype for the “ultrafast rapid covid test.” Now it’s in the final stages of emergency use authorization.
“You could drive thru, apply your saliva and before you leave, get your results in a shorter time than ordering a burger at McDonalds,” Researcher Gerri Botte said.
Botte and a graduate student are using electricity to detect COVID protein spikes.
It’s already proving effective. Developers used the rare technology to test students at the Performing Arts Center.
Botte estimates they were testing around 400 students per week in the fall. They set up testing machines to collect saliva and quickly gave students their results.
The device is in the final stages of FDA emergency use authorization here in the US. Botte is also taking it to the European Union, traveling to Germany soon to share the technology.
“We’re gonna have a big display in a biomedical company over there, hopefully will come back with better news, more results,” Botte said.
Once the FDA knows it can keep up with demand, it could hit the market in coming months.
And their next innovation is already on the horizon. Botte is submitting a research paper for peer review claiming the technology can detect COVID in the air.
“Depending on the size of the room, we could monitor everything every five to 10 minutes, and be able to test in a room like this continuously, every five minutes,” Botte said.
Researchers have been trying to shrink the device so it could be used as attachment to your phone. Botte said that is still in the works, but has been put on hold due to supply shortages.
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