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 MEMS 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.
Gold Standard in COVID-19 Detection: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
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, nanophysics 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.
- Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), which can detect both COVID-19 antigens and antibodies, comprises yet another type of test platform.
MEMS World Summit and Rogue Valley Microdevices Demystify COVID-19 Testing Technologies
On November 6, 2020, Rogue Valley Microdevices CEO Jessica Gomez demystifies 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.