Virus detection method is versatile and accessible

25 February, 2021

A safe, fast and cheap testing method that uses magnetic nanoparticles to detect viruses in both clinical and wastewater samples has been developed by KAUST researchers. The centrifuge-free approach is compatible with magnetic bead-based automated systems that are already used to process hundreds of samples.

“Our silica magnetic nanoparticle-based workflow can be assembled from scratch by any researcher,” says lead author Gerardo Ramos-Mandujano. “It rivals commercial viral-RNA extraction kits while lowering the risk of handling potentially infectious samples.” 

To diagnose COVID-19, clinicians extract SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA from different types of clinical samples, such as nasopharyngeal swabs, and detect the virus using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays.

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Image: A method developed by KAUST scientists uses magnetic nanoparticles to detect viruses in clinical and wastewater samples. Their approach avoids the need for expensive materials or facilities, making it more accessible to low-income countries and remote healthcare facilities.
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