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University in Taiwan invents 15-min COVID-19 test that can be used even without medical professionals

The National Sun Yat-sen University’s (NSYSU) Institute of Medical Science and Technology in Kaohsiung, Taiwan has developed a rapid test for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that can identify asymptomatic patients in just 15 minutes and can be done without the assistance of a medical professional.

A team of scientists led by Yang Hong-wei invented the “Easy Vial,” with catalytic nanomaterials and bio-based coatings. Only a droplet of blood is needed to determine if a person is infected with the disease despite of not exhibiting symptoms.

Through the vial’s conversion of colors using chromogen, the Easy Vial can detect the presence of IgM in a patient's blood sample. IgM is the first type of antibody that generates when an individual contracted the virus.

The researchers said, the test has a high accuracy result with just 15 minutes, which is quicker than nucleic acid test based on the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique that requires one hour to yield a result.

The method can also be used in detecting other infectious diseases such as Zika virus, Ebola, and dengue fever.

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