A new antibody test being developed by SMU researchers has the potential to detect the presence of antibodies generated in response to COVID-19 faster and with more accuracy than current antibody testing.
Antibody tests are key to helping determine how many coronavirus cases have gone undetected and whether people who have had the virus might now be immune – measurements that can help the healthcare community manage the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the future. But conventional immunosensor antibody tests tend to be slow to show results and frequently inaccurate.
Researchers estimate the “Lab on a Chip” test could detect immune responses to coronavirus in two to three minutes, with just a drop of blood. The materials used to create the test are inexpensive, which should result in low-cost mass production.
Ali Beskok and J.-C. Chiao are the lead researchers behind the “Lab on a Chip” test. Beskok is The Brown Foundation, Inc. Professor of Engineering at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. Chiao is The Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair and professor in Lyle’s Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering. Together, they have more than 50 years of combined expertise on microfluidics technology and biotechnology.