JNU to develop low-cost portable device for testing COVID-19
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which is a public sector enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT) has granted a research project to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to develop a low-cost portable device for large scale screening of Covid-19.
Jaydeep Bhattacharya from JNU’s School of Biotechnology, who is leading the team, has designed a chip-based spatial RT-PCR where the PCR has been desegregated with the in-built observation system containing LED and diode detector. The battery-entitled device enables point-of-care measurement.
JNU has already filed an application of an Indian patient for the device, which is said to be completing the test and providing the results within 50 minutes compared to the current conventional real-time PCR which takes about 120-180 minutes. This new technology is supposed to cost around Rs 60000 to 1 lakh as opposed to the conventional real-time PCR which is way expensive at 10-15 lakhs. However, it is said that the first prototype will take around 4 months to get ready for the demonstration.
JNU is collaborating with several other institutes like Amity University, Gurgaon, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Kolkata, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi to fabricate the device in its final marketable form for large scale screening.