The COVID pandemic, an unprecedented global crisis, brought the entire world to a screeching halt, disrupting daily life, economies, and healthcare systems. Despite the challenges, strides have been made in combating the virus through the widespread implementation of rapid testing and the commendable increase in vaccination levels. However, a persistent challenge remains—the identification of different strains of Covid within a short timeframe.
While the availability of various COVID tests for home use has empowered individuals to monitor their health conveniently, these tests fall short in discerning the intricate web of variants that the virus has spawned. Currently, only specialized laboratories can conduct variant Covid tests, and even then, they are limited to small sampling.
A glimmer of hope emerges on the horizon as scientific innovation promises to revolutionize the landscape of Covid testing. In the not-too-distant future, CRISPR-based miSherlock, developed by researchers from InstrumentedMIT, is poised to enable individuals to detect specific SARS-Cov-2 variants from the comfort of their homes or any setting.
The brainchild of Rose Lee, MD, an infectious disease physician at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, miSherlock represents a breakthrough in testing technology. Driven by the vision of creating an easier and cost-effective method for identifying Covid variants, miSherlock holds the potential to expedite the development of targeted vaccines tailored to specific strains.
Operating as a small battery-powered device with two chambers, miSherlock, which stands for Minimally instrumented specific high sensitivity enzymatic Unlocking, can identify different Covid strains within just one hour of testing. This remarkable advancement in testing technology not only enhances accessibility but also accelerates the pace at which crucial information about Covid variants can be obtained, ultimately contributing to more effective public health responses and strategies. As the world continues its battle against the evolving virus, miSherlock stands as a beacon of progress, offering hope for a future where rapid and accurate testing becomes an integral part of our collective defense against infectious diseases.
Printing Your COVID Test Results
When the user spits into one chamber, it purifies and concentrates the viral RNA.
the second chamber performs amplification and detection, And within an hour, users can get their test results.
This device can be 3D printed; it’s amazing the application of 3d printing,
And how cost-effective it is to use.
Lee is one of four authors on the paper. He played a vital role in creating the device and steps for processing the user’s saliva. It also includes chem treatments to prevent false test results.
The application of 3D printing to COVID testing will create affordable testing devices, and the average home will be able to identify and get the appropriate vaccine for any COVID variants, as results can be updated readily.
Lead on the research, Collins remarked on the flexibility and user-friendliness of the device.
With a growing number of variants of the covid strain on the rise,
A cost-effective and readily available means of identifying any strain is necessary for vaccination, and miSherlock seems to be the next best thing in fighting COVID-19.
The gadget is described in full detail in science advances.