Researchers from the University of Birmingham have developed a new Reverse Transcriptase Free EXPAR (RTF-EXPAR) testing method. The accurate COVID-19 test will be the first to reduce testing time from half an hour to under five minutes.
The new method uses a Binder DNA sequence that detects and binds to an enzyme that recognises the Binder DNA and SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and cuts a small section from it when viral RNA is present. The viral RNA is available to bind to further Binder DNA once the cleavage has occurred, and the cycle is repeated. The test senses the output of this cycle.
“Researchers from the University of Birmingham have developed a five minute COVID-19 test.“
The University’s School of Biosciences’ Professor Tim Dafforn, stated: “We have designed a new method for testing that combines the ease of use and speed of lateral flow testing with the inherent sensitivity of an RNA test. It features reagents that can be used in existing point of care devices and meets the need for testing in high throughput, near-patient settings where people may be waiting in line for their results.”