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Penn State Team Proposes At-Home Nucleic Acid-Based SARS-CoV-2 Testing Device

Pennsylvania State University researchers report on a low-cost, nucleic acid-based testing approach for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections at home for a paper appearing in the journal ACS Sensors. The "saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 self-testing with reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) mobile device," dubbed SLIDE, includes automated sample preparation, amplification, and viral detection steps that can be returned to users at home in less than one hour, the team says, noting that the approach appears to have detection levels similar to those reported for quantitative real-time PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 that have been approved by agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration. "The results show that our platform can perform self-administrated SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid testing by laypersons with noninvasive saliva samples," the authors write. "We believe that our self-testing platform will have an ongoing benefit for COVID-19 control and fighting future pandemics."