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23.04.2020 | Less reagent demanding Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 Detection System developed by Lumex Instruments

Coronavirus Detection System AriaDNA

April, 2020 – Mission, B.C., Canada. The current pandemic situation has created a demand for test kits that can be run with less amount of reagents while generating faster test results. Lumex Instruments’ microchip real-time PCR analyzer AriaDNA, by detecting SARS-CoV-2, has proven its ability to meet this demand. The Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 Detection System based on AriaDNA enables to test up to seven patient samples in one run, which takes less than an hour, with low reagent consumption. Currently the system is for research use only (RUO).

During this pandemic situation, erratic supply of lab wares and reagents, as well as bottlenecks created due to high demand and short supply of the test reagents, has created a delay in getting the population tested for COVID-19. Worldwide calls for widespread testing have skyrocketed the amount of requests for PCR reagent supply. Current real-time PCR assays and PCR instruments consume large volume of reagents (20 μl reaction), since assays are performed in PCR tubes or array plates. Lumex Instruments has developed Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 detection system with reagent consumption as low as 1.2 μl reaction. The system overcomes the limitation of reagents availability during COVID-19 outbreak by 10-fold increase in number of samples that can be analyzed from a single box of reagents from 300 to 3,000.

The Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 detection system provides sensitive, specific, and fast detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. The system uses a pre-loaded microchip kit with primers and probes lyophilized in the microchip. The N1 and N2 primer-probes target regions within the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (N), and HsRPP30 targets RNase P gene present in the human genome. The system relies on the use of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved test kits and instructions.

Fast analysis, shipment under ambient conditions, and convenient process of PCR analysis are among key features of the Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 detection system. Ease of use with lyophilized PCR reagents in the microchips significantly improves reliability of analysis in fast-responder settings by reducing operator-associated errors.

Currently Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 Detection System is suitable for research use only. Meanwhile, Lumex Instruments has applied for Health Canada approval in the last week of March.

Compact and low-energy requiring AriaDNA is a well-proven solution that is used in laboratories around the world to detect pathogens in animals, poultry, fish, crops, and in agricultural products. The patented technology shortens analysis time threefold. Analysis cost is also significantly reduced compared to test-tube based PCR.

Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the standard method of SARS-CoV-2 detection. Testing is performed on respiratory samples such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasalaspirate.