Live viral spectroscopy for rapid Covid-19 detection applied directly to clinical biofluids without sample processing
We propose a new partnership to advance the core technology for an innovative approach to rapid detection of COVID‑19 called “live virus spectroscopy”. The initiative brings together experts in virology, microfluidics, mechanical engineering, bioinformatics, and COVID diagnostics with world-leaders in spectroscopic instrument manufactures, Bruker, to advance and rapidly commercialize a new COVID‑19 test method. The platform is based on a new patent pending microfluidic technology from Greener and Bégin-Drolet that will automatically meter and concentrate analytes, before obtaining high quality vibrational spectra independently from up to 20 sample compartments. The system will be compatible with standard swab- and saliva samples. One of the main objectives in this work is the integration of the microfluidic sampling accessory with the best compact infrared spectrometer on the market (Alpha II), to create a fully automated, cost-effective point of care diagnostics system. Here we embark on an ambitious and enthusiastic collaboration with Bruker Ltd. who will donate significant resources and expertise to all levels of this project, and who will be a key partner for the eventual launch of the finalized tool. A second major objective is to develop modern bioinformatics tools to be applied to absorbance spectra. Once this partnership is established the new technology will be rapidly developed with the following advantages: (1) Completely stand-alone turn-key system, minimizing complexity, time delays and sample management; (2) Direct measurements on primary samples, eliminating reliance on complex lab based techniques using expensive and limited kits; (3) Low-cost spectrometer, disposable microfluidic devices, and an assaying accessory; (4) Highly portable system based on a low-profile system for point of care applications; (5) Fast results are expected to be achieved in 2 to 10 minutes per sample.