Graphene enables rapid COVID-19 testing
Rapid, easy test could bring back gatherings, open economies Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – August 5, 2020
Last updated 8/4/2020 at 12:14pm
An easily administered COVID-19 test that delivers accurate results nearly instantaneously would be a game-changing technology that could slow the spread of the virus as governments look to re-open economies. One Canada-based technology company says it has developed such a test, thanks to the special properties of graphene.
Consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arrange in a hexagonal lattice, graphene is a two-dimensional material that is highly conductive with other remarkable attributes that have researchers calling it a "wonder material".
Graphene Leaders Canada Inc. says it has developed a sensor enhanced with this 2D material that can reliably detect the presence of COVID-19 in seconds by testing saliva, eliminating the need for the notoriously uncomfortable nasal swab or oversight by a medical practitioner.
"Graphene is the ideal sensing material," said Jason Deacon, the leader of product development at GLC Medical Inc., a subsidiary of Graphene Leaders Canada. "The 2D nature and conductive attributes of graphene make for an extremely sensitive material to detect any molecule."
Graphene Leaders Canada say its rapid detection saliva test has been developed to indicate a positive result only when the COVID-19 virus is present, allowing for direct and clear interpretation by the user.
The combination of ease of use, less intrusive sampling, and nearly instantaneous results makes the test an "at the door" technology that could be administered before boarding a plane, entering a movie theater, seeing a live sporting event.
"This rapid test brings family and friends together for times of joy free from fear of COVID-19," said Graphene Leaders Canada President and CEO Donna Mandau.
To quickly get this game-changing test to market, Graphene Leaders Canada is in talks with manufacturers and governments in several countries to facilitate production protocols reflective of their country's government regulatory compliance requirements. This includes Health Canada and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which are expected to help facilitate expedited regulatory and clinical-testing requirements.
Once approved, the graphene-enhanced novel coronavirus test could be tailored to test for other viruses, which could prevent the social and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The success of this development offers the world a solution for COVID-19, and as our graphene is tailorable, we can offer a fast solution to future viruses in rapid modification of our graphene which will ensure we do not relive the major economic shutdown as experienced with COVID-19," said Mandau.