Testing plays a major role in bending the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are a wide (and sometimes) confusing variety of tests, we need to understand and differentiate this sea of test platforms so we can make informed decisions that promote good public health.
As a foundry that helps to manufacture biosensors for a range of companies, we’ve witnessed first-hand a number of our customer/partners pivoting to adapt their molecular diagnostic test platforms to detect SARS-V-2 — so we understand the role of microelectronics in such tests.
Microelectronics is a foundational piece of what’s considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19 detection: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Companies such as Cepheid and Bosch Healthcare Solutions are advancing MEMS in PCR-based COVID-19 test platforms. Cepheid is successfully selling its SARS-CoV-2, Flu A, Flu B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Combination Test to the market. Bosch claims the “world’s fastest PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 test” for point-of-care (PoC) settings. Bosch’s rapid test allows its Vivalytic analysis device to provide a reliable result on the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen in 39 minutes, and it’s already available in Europe.
Beyond commercially available test platforms from companies like Cepheid and Bosch, what else can we expect? One of our partners, Cardea, is developing biology-gated transistors, which combine molecular biology, graphene, nano-physics and advanced electronics, the computational power of software, and machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI) to provide a signal-detection system in a chipset that can be configured to target COVID-19. The Cardea platform can also serve thousands of other potential products and applications that can improve lives across human health, agriculture, food and water safety, biosafety, and the environment.
And there’s still more. Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), which can detect both COVID-19 antigens and antibodies, comprises yet another type of test platform.
On November 6, 2020, Rogue Valley Microdevices CEO Jessica Gomez will demystify these test technologies, discuss their roles in helping us to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, and share real-world examples of COVID-19 test platforms during her presentation at MEMS World Summit Europe (MWS).
MWS is an invitation-only conference attended by MEMS industry thought-leaders who are at the forefront of driving technological advancements in a rapidly innovative and changing industry.