COVID-19 test strip takes advantage of virus' 'sweet tooth'
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are using a sugar-coated test strip to track coronavirus variants.Posted — Updated
Alongside researchers at the University of California San Diego, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers have created the self-test known as GlycoGrip.
"We have turned the tables on the virus by using the same sugar coat it binds to infect cells - to capture it into our sensor," UNC-Chapel Hill research Ronit Freeman said in a press release.
A drop of saliva is placed at one end of the strip, according to researchers, and then flows along the strip's surface. When the saliva reaches a sugar-coated patch, if someone is infected with coronavirus, the virus will become trapped on the patch.
A visual color on the test strip will indicate infection, researchers said.
"We tapped into nature to re-imagine viral diagnostics," said Freeman.
Researchers said while others tests have had to be modified for new COVID-19 variants, the GlycoGrip test can be used for universal testing.
"We are optimistic that GlycoGrip will capture future variants just as easily," said Freeman.
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