Lab-on-a-Chip - Rapid Antibody Detection for COVID-19
Researchers at the University of Alberta have joined forces to develop a handheld Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) device for rapidly detecting COVID-19 antibodies. This is for either people recovered from COVID-19 or people who had COVID-19 infection but were asymptomatic carriers.
LOC technology involves the miniaturization and integration of components into small, portable devices that can carry out laboratory tests whenever and wherever needed. Alberta researchers are at the forefront of advancing LOC technology and applying it to the detection of different diseases.
Led by Professor Jie Che, his team are on track to have a device prototype ready early next that can quantify the concentration of COVID-19 antibodies in a droplet of blood quickly and accurately, within 20 minutes.
They hope to identify:
- Potentially millions of individuals who had COVID-19 but didn’t know it.
- Those who could provide convalescent serum (COVID-19 antibodies) to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
- Individuals with high enough COVID-19 antibody levels who would be immune to further COVID-19 infections (and, therefore, free to work without personal protection equipment).
- Those who need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (and those who do not).