December 1, 2023

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Researchers develop a COVID-19 antibody test that doesn’t require a blood sample

Researchers develop a COVID-19 antibody test that doesn’t require a blood sample


Researchers develop a COVID-19 antibody test that doesn’t require a blood sample

Scientists have developed a new minimally invasive, antibody-based test for SARS-CoV-2 that could lead to blood-free testing for many diseases.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is not over, despite the significant and astonishing advances in vaccine technology right now.

A key challenge in limiting the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the rapid and accurate identification of infected individuals.


Researchers develop a COVID-19 antibody test that doesn't require a blood sample



Now, researchers from Japan have developed a new antibody-based technique that can be used to rapidly and reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 without the need for a blood sample.


The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been severely limited by the inability to effectively identify individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, exacerbated by the high rate of asymptomatic infections (16%-38%).

Until now, the most predominant method of testing has been to collect samples by swabbing the nose and throat.

However, the application of this method is limited by its long detection time (4-6 hours), high cost, and requirement for specialized equipment and medical personnel, especially in resource-limited countries.


An alternative and complementary method for confirming COVID-19 infection involves the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies.

Gold nanoparticle-based test strips are now widely used for point-of-care testing in many countries.

They produce sensitive and reliable results in as little as 10-20 minutes, but they require blood samples to be collected by pricking a finger with a puncture device — which can be painful and increase the risk of infection or cross-contamination.

In addition, the kit components used are also potentially biohazardous.


To develop a minimally invasive detection method that avoids these drawbacks, they explored sampling and the interstitial interstitium (ISF) located in the epidermis and dermis of human skin, said lead author Leilei Bao from the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo. Test ideas. Bao pointed out that although the antibody level in ISF is about 15%-25% of the antibody level in blood, IgM/IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 can still be detected, and ISF can directly replace blood sampling, which is feasible.


After demonstrating that ISF could be adapted for antibody detection, the researchers developed an innovative method to sample and test ISF.

Beomjoon Kim, the first author of the paper on the study, explains: “First, we developed biodegradable porous microneedles made of polylactic acid that draw ISF from human skin.

Then, we constructed a paper-based An immunoassay biosensor for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies.” By integrating these two elements, the researchers created a compact patch that enables on-site detection of antibodies within 3 minutes (in vitro tested result).


This novel test device has great potential for rapid screening for COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases, which is safe and acceptable to patients. It promises to be used in many countries, regardless of their wealth, and is a key goal of managing infectious diseases globally.





Researchers develop a COVID-19 antibody test that doesn’t require a blood sample

(source:internet, reference only)

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