Description:
Background
Rapid assessment of infectious disease and the presence of pathogens in an environment is critical for the safety of affected individuals and for the containment of viral outbreaks. Portable test systems are useful for the diagnosis of infectious diseases, analysis of drinking water, and for detection of environmental contamination. Such testing remains a significant challenge where access to laboratory resources is limited, or where speed and simplicity of operation are important. Current availability of rapid test kits for detecting viruses is insufficient, and typically viral contamination is tested in centralized laboratories using techniques based on the detection of viral nucleic acids after samples are taken to a testing lab. Existing diagnostic test kits often involve the addition of reagents to biological samples though specialized transfer mechanisms which are prone to spillage and contamination. However, time is of the essence for rapidly spreading viral infections and pandemics, and test kits are needed that can be deployed outside a centralized laboratory while offering ease of use and a clear indication of test results.
 
Technology Overview
The present technology provides a portable test kit that enables rapid detection of the presence or absence of a pathogen in a liquid sample using liquid reagents. The sample can come from any source such as humans, animals, plants, food, a body of water, soil, or a wipe taken from a surface or object. It can provide detection using a liquid biological sample and two or more sets of prepackaged liquid reagents. Detection can be by a colorimetric signal visible to the human eye. A first reagent and a second reagent can be provided as prepackaged, sealed capsules attached near the rim of mixing well in a polymer base, which is covered by a transparent diaphragm made of a silicone polymer. The reagents are released by pressing a finger to rupture the capsules and introducing them into the well. Any number of reagents can be used as required by the assay or test.
The test kit is generic with respect to the reagents used and can be employed in any application that can provide a liquid sample suspected of containing an agent of interest capable of detection by producing a visible product resulting from the reaction of the agent with one or more liquid reagents.
 
Benefits
- It is highly specific for testing a sample suspected of containing a specific analyte of interest
- Tests involving hazardous samples or reagents can be carried out safely
- The device can be disposable
- Test can be safely used in remote, home, clinical setting
 
Applications
- It can be used for a rapid, point‑of‑care COVID‑19 diagnostic test
 
Opportunity
- License
- Partnering
- Research collaboration
Patent Information:
Category(s):
Diagnostics
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
m.saulich@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Sagar Kamarthi
Tania Konry
Keywords:
COVID-19
Diagnostics
Medical/Health
Saliva - Based Biosensors