Turkish scientists develop ‘1-second’ COVID-19 test kit. Made of polymeric material, the kit is the joint work of professor Yusuf Yağcı, from the university’s chemistry department, doctorate student Tuğba Çeliker and fellow researchers from Ege University.
The kit is the result of a study to develop a fast diagnosis kit. With a new synthetic method, researchers used a fluorescent bioassay for the detection of the coronavirus.
It will help health care staff, and even people without medical knowledge, to detect COVID-19 and its variants in only one second with a sample taken from a potential patient’s saliva.
Professor Yağcı told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday that they tried their kit on samples from coronavirus patients that were dripped on paper, which then had light projected on them, employing a fluorescent feature to diagnose the infection. He said they were now planning to develop the kit further for use in the detection of other viruses similar to the coronavirus.
“The currently used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests take long for detection. With this kit, people can do their own tests,” he said. Yağcı said the kit basically works by using samples on a surface absorbing them, and paper was not the sole surface that can be used. “It basically works by examining the interaction between the polymer and the virus,” he said. He said the test kit offered a novel and cheaper alternative to other tests and so far, had a 95% success rate compared to other kits.
Though Turkey noted progress in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists continue their work against possible new waves from coronavirus variants in the future. The country has established a scientific research platform under the coordination of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) following the beginning of the pandemic in Turkey in March 2020. It sponsors a number of vaccine and drug development projects against the virus. So far, Turkey had announced a breakthrough in combating the virus, by developing its own vaccine called Turkovac.