A collaboration with Harvard University could ultimately lead to the creation of a chewing-gum-sized diagnostic strip that can be printed at scale and produce real-time results for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Life Science Biosensor Diagnostics (LSBD), a development company of The iQ Group Global, is working with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University this week to develop a test from the Australian-invented Biosensor Platform; a printable organic thin-film transistor ‘strip’ being developed by LSBD.
The collaboration involves a pilot study to integrate the Biosensor Platform with a special coating developed at the Wyss Institute that can detect IgM and/or IgG antibodies, which indicate if a person has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If the pilot study is successful, further development in partnership with the Wyss Institute could mean the creation of a diagnostic ‘strip’ that can be used for COVID-19 testing at point of care, with the ability to be printed at scale at a low cost, and produce real-time results.
“Dependent on the outcomes of this research, we may be in a position to provide the global healthcare system with a point-of-care test capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, with the ability to provide results in minutes," said George Syrmalis, group CEO and chairman of The iQ Group Global. "If the pilot study data is positive, this test has the potential to be used as a point-of-care screening and diagnostic tool, and pre-vaccination screening tests for when a COVID-19 vaccine is made available.”
The Biosensor Platform is being developed to test for more than 130 tumor markers, allergens, hormones, and communicable diseases. The primary diagnostic device being developed for the platform is the Saliva Glucose Biosensor for diabetes management. Interestingly, researchers in Brazil and Canada also are looking at saliva as an alternative to finger-prick glucose testing.
“We know that accurate, real-time diagnostic tools are a future of global healthcare that we urgently need to accelerate into our current reality as COVID-19 takes its toll on people all over the world. This project could not have come at more crucial time,” Syrmalis said.