PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new rapid coronavirus antibody test developed in a collaborative effort between Carnegie Mellon University, Pitt, and UPMC.
According to CMU researchers, the test would give results in 10-15 seconds.
Doctor Rahul Panat, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, developed the test.
“If a liquid containing antibodies is introduced, the antibodies selectively bind to the antigens and change the electrical properties of the device,” said Dr. Panat.
The test, which could detect two antibodies in the virus responsible for COVID-19, would require a drop of blood from a person’s fingertip, that through a handheld device, would send the results to a smartphone.
WATCH: KDKA’s Amy Wadas Has More With Dr. Rahul Panat
The device is about the size of a quarter and researchers say that 3D printing technology is responsible for the efficiency and accuracy of the test.
It is also believed to have a very low error rate because the reaction between the antibody and antigen in the device is highly selective.
“Then you can isolate people. When it comes to international travel, you’re in the immigration line, you’re test comes in very quickly,” said Dr. Panat.
Two other positives about the device – a CMU researcher says the cost to make the device is low. It could have as many as 10 uses and it already as a provisional patent and close to human trials.
“That would allow the same device to be used for 10 different samples, which will lower the cost significantly,” said Dr. Panat.
Those human trials would be performed at UPMC.