Graphene-enhanced COVID-19 sensor detects virus in seconds

July 30, 2020 // By Rich Pell
Graphene-enhanced COVID-19 sensor detects virus in seconds
Graphene nanomaterials technology company Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC) together with subsidiary GLC Medical (GLCM) have announced the development of a graphene-enhanced sensor for use in their point-of-care COVID-19 Rapid Test that delivers accurate and reliable results in seconds.

The graphene-enhanced sensor, says the company, supports the fastest and easiest to use rapid COVID-19 virus detection test kit and is the only of its kind saliva test - eliminating the nasopharyngeal swab and all certified practitioner oversight requirements, and does not require expensive equipment, and there is no cross handling which increases cross contaminations. The GLCM test directly detects the virus, ensuring no false positive/negative results, unlike other tests which detect only the byproducts of infection and are therefore unreliable.

"Graphene is the ideal sensing material," says Jason Deacon, Product Development Lead of GLC-GLCM. "The 2D nature and conductive attributes of graphene make for an extremely sensitive material to detect any molecule. At GLC-GLCM, we have made the surface highly specific to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) to ensure that our rapid test will save lives."

GLCM's COVID-19 point-of-care test, says the company, offers a unique advantage over other tests as it detects the presence of the COVID-19 virus. Competitive tests that have been announced are predominately nucleic acid tests and serological assay tests.

The serological assay tests are designed to identify IgM and IgG antibodies that are present post infection, while nucleic acid tests identify active infection, but still require the use of the nasopharyngeal swab and results must be interpreted by a certified practitioner using expensive equipment, which is a slow-moving process. In addition, both the serological and the nucleic tests produce false positive and false negative results, whereas GLCM's test has been developed to indicate a positive result only when the COVID-19 virus is present, allowing for direct and clear interpretation by the user.

GLCM says it has completed development of the graphene-enhanced sensor used in the rapid test kit, which is an in-vitro diagnostic device that produces a signal when exposed to COVID-19 viral antigens. With the achievement of the positive identification of the viral antigens, the company has begun development of a functional prototype of the rapid

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