Inside INdiana Business

IU researchers developing rapid COVID-19 tests

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Researchers in Indianapolis are working to develop new diagnostic tests to more quickly and accurately detect the viral strain. Scientists from the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI and the School of Medicine are working with Indiana University Health on the tests that could eventually lead to quicker diagnoses of health care workers and others on the front lines.

Palm-held and benchtop designs have provided real-time detection of infections in samples.

“The issue with current accepted approaches for COVID-19 tests is that, while effective at detection, they are slow, with results taking up to a day or longer. We are testing our benchtop sequencing approach, which can potentially be done in two to three hours or even less,” said IU principal investigator Sarath Janga.

Researchers say another advantage of this type of testing is they can be performed at the point of care, instead of needing to be sent to a lab to determine results. 

“Viral outbreaks such as COVID-19 need real-time detection of the status of infection in patients to control the spread,” Janga said. “Since there are currently no specific treatments for coronavirus infections, and strains of these RNA viruses evolve rapidly, it is crucial to develop novel techniques that can provide rapid diagnostics and therapeutic intervention.”

Janga’s lab is also providing personnel and reagents to help with current COVID-19 testing at the clinical pathology lab at IU Health. More on IU Health’s COVID-19 research can be found here