Medical Sciences

Title :

Development of an accurate, affordable point-of care diagnostic kit for Covid-19

Area of research :

COVID-19 Research, Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Medical Sciences

Focus area :

Diagnostic kit development for Covid-19

Principal Investigator :

Prof Utpal Tatu, Professor, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru

Timeline Start Year :


Timeline End Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Objective: To create a Lateral flow assay based viral antigen detection method- This assay uses saliva, nasal swab or blood for the detection of presence of viral particles and can give visual results in 5 minutes. This assay does not require any trained personnel or specific lab equipment as this is a point of care, field usable detection test. To create a molecular diagnosis combined with lateral flow assay- This method can detect viral particles even if they are present in very low in number. The cDNA will be prepared from viral RNA and then amplified to be used on the Lateral flow assay for amplicon detection in a 10 min.

Summary: The diagnosis of Covid-19 is currently done by a molecular method known as Reverse-transcriptase PCR as a gold standard method of detection. This method takes longer time with procedure including RNA extraction, cDNA preparation, amplification and visualization of amplified product on agarose gel. This method requires sophisticated laboratory. Another method is antibody detection in the plasma/serum of symptomatic patient. Since, it takes around 2 weeks post infection for the antibody response in human body against Covid-19, it is not an accurate method of detecting a current infection. There is an imperative requirement to develop a rapid detection method which can be used for field diagnosis. It is proposed to develop a viral antigen as well as RNA detection methods by taking samples from patient’s saliva, nasal swab or plasma or serum which can provide accurate results in a few minutes and help to prevent the spread of the infection.

Organizations involved