Image of a COVID-test, Virapoc

VIRAPOC - Rapid virus testing

The VIRAPOC team is developing a lab-on-a-chip based test platform to rapidly diagnose a virus infection (< 30 minutes). A vital part of such a virus test is the amplification (multiplication) of collected RNA. In the current Covid test lanes this is done using the PCR method. In this method, the reaction proceeds by passing through different temperature stages. However, heating and cooling the material to exact temperatures is time-consuming and labor-intensive. The test the VIRAPOC team is working on uses the so-called LAMP method (loop-mediated isothermal amplification). The advantage of this method is that it can be performed at a constant temperature and is just as reliable as the traditional PCR method. This makes LAMP much faster and more suitable for use outside of a laboratory environment. An only small, simple equipment is needed for this test, making it cheaper and easier to scale up than the PCR tests. In virus outbreaks, such as the current Corona pandemic, it is possible to perform a large number of assays in a short period of time with this simpler test, which could make a significant difference in the fight against the spread of the virus.

Testing on the spot

At Micronit, we are very proud to be part of the VIRAPOC project. As a developer and manufacturer of customer-specific lab-on-a-chip solutions, we believe in a future in which people age healthily, and the VIRAPOC project fits very well with this vision. Our expertise and skills in microfluidics and microtechnologies enable us to develop these specific labs-on-chips together with our customers for a variety of applications. To remove a test platform from the laboratory setting, all kinds of functions must be performed on the platform itself, such as pumping, mixing, heating, and reading. In our high-tech cleanroom, we are able to integrate these functionalities into the chip and thus deliver a specific Point-of-Care product to our customer. Participating in a project such as VIRAPOC gives us the inspiration to continue our work and the opportunity to respond even more accurately to the needs of our customers.