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Technology to help Combat Covid-19

24 August 2020

According to the World Health Organisation, the Covid-19 pandemic looks like it will be with us for at least to 2 years but cites with modern technology as the way to abating the spread.

To help increase diagnosis, GX has recently become part of a taskforce to help adapt a UTI test to be able to detect coronavirus. Their electronic engineers have joined forces with researchers from University of South Wales and several Welsh industry partners to develop a point of care test which will be affordable and allow results to be available in 20-30 minutes.

Adapting a UTI test

The rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19 builds on a technique already used to diagnose urinary tract infections. The test is designed to be low-cost and quick. It uses a different method and chemicals to the current accredited tests, thereby avoiding supply bottlenecks for the components. Following an initial evaluation, GX’s design engineering team has been involved with developing several prototypes to test for use.

To be able to detect for Covid-19, the new prototype model uses a novel swabbing and sample extraction technique - molecular technology, which is based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification of DNA (or LAMP) to analyse swabs. This method not only reduces cross contamination and biosafety issues, more importantly it is quick to process results. Due to its speed and portability, it is hoped that the new test equipment will play an important role in detecting outbreaks quicker.

Commenting on this latest project, GX’s managing director, Mark Helmich said; “We feel very honoured to be part of a Welsh team looking to help fight the pandemic. Whilst we are designing and producing the prototypes, other companies like BioMonde are producing the assay element of the test, whilst BIC Innovation has been providing guidance on regulatory requirements, all under the guidance the university researchers.”

The project partners have received support and funding from the Welsh Government. Read the full article in   Advances Wales.

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