Rapid Point of Care SARS-CoV2 Detection, using a sensitive antigen screening test

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Industry partner

Alcolizer Technology

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Research organisation

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

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Manufacturing investment

$942,350
($150,000 IMCRC)
for 2020

COVID-19 test results within minutes

Challenge

Testing is a vital component of Australia’s success in managing the spread of COVID-19. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are commonly used to detect the virus. Apart from requiring specialised laboratory equipment and trained scientists to test the specimen, PCR tests take several hours to process.

Alcolizer aims to develop a cost-effective point of care COVID -19 test, utilising their existing drug testing application, that can detect the virus in under 15 minutes and thus significantly reducing the processing time as well as improving contract tracing.

Proposed Solution

In partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Alcolizer Technology is developing a prototype for a rapid saliva test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus antigens. Utilising Alcolizer’s drug-testing system (Druglizer LE5), the test will collect saliva in a cartridge placed in the existing hand-held device. By tailoring the iStrip technology, the device will be able to directly measure the viral load in the saliva sample and display the result on the instrument’s small screen. Being GPS enabled and connected to cloud reporting tools, the device will also assist authorities with contact tracing.

The project aims to advance the design and testing of the prototype to accelerate its commercialisation. Collaborating with specialist industrial design firms and electronics specialists, the project team will also assist with tailoring Alcolizer’s fully automated robotic manufacturing facility in Balcatta, Western Australia, where the iStrips and testing instruments will be manufactured.