UK diagnostics firm Intelligent Fingerprinting believes that the highly sensitive fluorescence measurement capabilities of its lateral flow technology and portable instrumentation could have a valuable role to play in accelerating Coronavirus diagnostic testing at the point of care.
Currently, Coronavirus diagnostic tests – which tell whether people have the COVID-19 virus – can take hours if they have to wait for results at a hospital, or days if swab test samples need to be sent off for testing. However, by utilising the lateral flow assay technology within Intelligent Fingerprinting’s fingerprint testing cartridge and the fluorescence measurement techniques within its portable reader, there is the potential to create a portable Coronavirus diagnostic testing approach that could deliver positive or negative COVID-19 results on-site within just ten minutes.
“The national goal is to make Coronavirus testing available for as many people as possible, and we’re keen to work with our testing industry counterparts to help achieve this target,” said Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Executive Chairman, Philip Hand. “We think fluorescence measurement has a valuable role to play, but we’re going to need some help to accelerate development and enable volume manufacturing. Now is the time for the testing sector to come together and help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus.”
Commenting on the ongoing development of a fingerprint-based COVID-19 diagnostic test, Lord Darzi, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, said: “meeting UK COVID-19 testing goals is a critical part of our collective effort in controlling the virus, and fingerprint-based testing could, if developed, have an important role to play in accelerating the testing process. I’m supporting Intelligent Fingerprinting’s efforts to accelerate development, and am particularly keen to see other potential partners get involved as quickly as possible.”
The company’s DSR-Plus analysis unit is based on the intrinsically very sensitive technique of fluorescence. This means that by using its DSR-Plus reader and lateral flow-based screening diagnostics, Intelligent Fingerprinting can detect specific drugs or their metabolites in the eccrine sweat collected from fingerprints. Intelligent Fingerprinting’s technology detects picogram amounts of chemicals, as opposed to routine screening technologies that detect nanogram amounts – enabling a thousand-fold improvement in sensitivity.