Developed a new type of rapid test
Location: The Netherlands, Eindhoven
“We are using our EU-funded research to work on a new coronavirus test”
Thanks to EU support, Professor Maarten Merkx from the Technical University of Eindhoven has developed a new type of rapid test which detects virus antibodies in the blood via light-emitting proteins. He is now working to apply the same method to coronavirus. The power of his approach is that the test can be done directly in blood, and the signal can be detected with the camera of a smart phone. Part of his project is also to develop a paper-based strip that contains the same testing components － he calls it ‘glow-in-the-dark’ paper-based diagnostics. When a person has viral antibodies, it means that they have already had the disease or been exposed to the virus, information which could be very useful in containing the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. This sort of rapid antibody testing is therefore crucial for those who work with vulnerable people, but also to help all of us decide whether we should visit loved ones in high risk groups or plan our return to work.