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Union Minister Sanjay Dhotre Launches Rapid Antigen Test Kit for Covid-19 developed by IIT Delhi

Union Minister Sanjay Dhotre

The Union Minister of State for Education, Sanjay Dhotre launched a Rapid Antigen Test kit for Covid-19 developed by IIT Delhi today. The Rapid Antigen Test kit has been developed by the IIT Delhi researchers led by Dr Harpal Singh, Professor at the Institute’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.

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“I am confident that this technology will revolutionise the Covid test availability in the country. I am glad to know that the kit has been developed entirely using the internal resources at IIT Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is focused on Atmanirbhar Bharat through research, development, and innovations. The focus on research in National Education Policy, National Research Foundation and initiatives like PM Research Fellowship will help further to improve the quality of research in the country. Technology plays important role in wealth creation. IITs being premier technology institutions play a major role here,” Dhotre said.

V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “IIT DelhiUnion Minister Sanjay Dhotre Launches Rapid Antigen Test Kit for Covid-19 developed by IIT Delhihad launched a Rs 399 RT PCR kit in July 2020, which helped bring the RT-PCR test costs to the current level. Using the technologies developed in the Institute, over 8 million (80 lakh) PPE kits have been supplied so far. With the launch of this Antigen-based rapid test kit, we hope to make the diagnostics easy and affordable for the rural areas.”

According to Prof Singh, the ICMR-certified kit is used for in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen. The SARS-CoV-2 Ag Rapid Test is a colloidal gold enhanced double-antibody sandwich immunoassay for the qualitative determination of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human nasal swabs, throat swabs and deep sputum samples.

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“It is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of Covid-19. The invention is directed towards an in vitro diagnostic kit for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigens in the nasopharyngeal swab, using the rapid immune chromatographic method. The identification is based on the monoclonal antibodies specific for the Coronavirus antigen. The results obtained are qualitative based and can be inferred visually with the naked eye.

A SARS-CoV-2 positive specimen produces a distinct colour band in the test region, formed by the specific antibody-antigen coloured conjugate complex (Au-SARS-CoV-2-Ab)-(SARS-CoV-2-Ag)-(SARS-CoV-2-Ab). The absence of this coloured band in the test region suggests a negative result. A coloured band always appears in the control region serving as procedural control regardless of the specimen contains SARS-CoV-2 or not. The test is found to be suitable for early Ct values (Ct values between 14 and 32) with a Sensitivity- 90%, Specificity- 100% and Accuracy- 98.99%, and certified by the ICMR. These are the one of the best available values for any such test kits. The technology and its manufacturing are 100% indigenous.”

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