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IIT Delhi develops low-cost Covid-19 detection kit

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

At a time when the whole world is struggling to find ways to combat Coronavirus Pandemic, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) has achieved a breakthrough which could prove to be a game changer in the fight against COVID-19.

Leveraging indigenously technology, the institute has developed a low-cost Covid-19 detection kit. Best part of the kit is that it costs barely a few hundred rupees. It has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex bio-medical research body, a TOI report states.

The reputed Engineering Institute is now looking for an industry partner and aims to get production rolling this week. The assay or procedure has been validated at ICMR with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, the report states.

“This method uses primers targeting unique regions of Covid-19 that were designed and tested using real-time PCR. This highly sensitive assay was developed by extensive optimisation using synthetic DNA constructs followed by in vitro generated RNA fragments,” said Professor Vivekanandan Perumal, lead researcher from the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences.

Elaborating about the technology for the kit, IIT-D director Ramagopal Rao, said, “we know tests will cost a few hundred rupees and that too can come down if production volumes are higher. IIT Delhi has internally funded this research and we have applied for a patent.”

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