St Cross scientists develop rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test

St Cross Fellow Achillefs Kapanidis, Professor of Biological Physics, and student Andrew McMahon (DPhil Condensed Matter Physics), are part of a team from the University of Oxford's Department of Physics that has developed a rapid diagnostic test that detects and identifies viruses in under five minutes.

With the method they have developed, they are able to differentiate between SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19), negative samples, and other common respiratory pathogens such as flu. 

Prof Kapanidis said: 

Unlike other technologies that detect a delayed antibody response or that require expensive, tedious and time-consuming sample preparation, our method quickly detects intact virus particles; meaning the assay is simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective.

The aim is to develop an integrated device that could be used in places such as airports and music venues. The researchers are working with Oxford University Innovation and other partners to set up a spinout, and with investment they hope to be able to produce a fully integrated test.

Read further on the University's news pages here.