The North East Innovation Lab works to assess and accelerate the development of new diagnostic tests. Pathology in Practice looks at the support it provided to a study assessing the use of synthetic polymer antibodies in a new test for SARS-CoV-2.
The North East Innovation Lab has played a key role in a successful study to develop a new biosensor that could be used in COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The North East Innovation Lab – part of Newcastle Hospitals – supports new and emerging diagnostics; the next generation of testing technology that will provide rapid identification of health threats, including disease and viruses.
Researchers at Newcastle University have developed a new biosensor – a device that measures chemicals or biological molecules such as proteins or antibodies – to detect SARS-CoV-2. The development could lead to diagnostic tests that are more accurate than a lateral-flow test and faster than a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, as they would not require the equipment necessary to process the results in a laboratory.
A study1 reported in the journal ACS Sensors utilised COVID samples from the Innovation Lab’s biobank, a unique storage facility holding thousands of respiratory samples, alongside blood and saliva. Dr Donna Nile (senior scientist and biobank manager) said: “We’re delighted that our biobank has played a pivotal role in supporting this study. The biobank is a vital repository to enable our evaluation and validation work in the laboratory and to support wider industry in ‘testing the tests’.
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