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Current Affairs

Using holographic images to detect viruses and anti-bodies

Date: 16 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Scientists have developed a method using holographic imaging to detect both viruses and antibodies. 

 

Background

 If fully realised, this proposed test could be done in under 30 minutes, is highly accurate, and can be performed by minimally trained personnel.

 

Details

  • The method was devised keeping in mind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to detect coronavirus pathogens and their corresponding antibodies quickly and efficiently.

  • Developed by scientists from New York University, the method uses laser beams to record holograms of their test beads.

  • The new method is extremely accurate and uses physical principles that have not been previously been used for diagnostic testing.

  • This method allows researchers to efficiently detect viruses and antibodies and literally watch them stick to specially prepared test beads. 

  • The surfaces of the beads are activated with biochemical binding sites that attract either antibodies or virus particles, depending on the intended test. Binding antibodies or viruses causes the beads to grow by a few billionth parts of a metre.

  • Researchers have shown they can detect this growth through changes in the beads’ holograms. The test can analyse a dozen beads per second. This can mean cutting the time for a reliable thousand-bead diagnostic test to 20 minutes.

  • The holographic video microscopy is performed by an instrument, xSight, created by Spheryx, a New York-based company.

  • The researchers behind this supposedly groundbreaking new technique believe that it can significantly diminish the chances of misdiagnosis occurring and also speed up the process of treatment thereby also reducing the cost of healthcare.