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10-Second COVID Antibody Results Possible with 3D Printing


10-Second COVID Antibody Results Possible with 3D Printing

As rapid testing remains critical in curbing the coronavirus pandemic, one group may have found a breakthrough antibody test using 3D printing.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) were able to produce a 3D printed sensor that can identify COVID-19 antibodies in just 10 seconds. MedicalExpo e-magazine explains:

“About the size of a U.S. quarter coin, the device is formed by printing gold micropillars onto a substrate, coating them with reduced graphene oxide, then attaching COVID antigens, the markers of the virus. A pinprick of blood is obtained from the person being tested, and if the sample has any COVID antibodies they latch on to the antigen, creating an electrochemical reaction.”

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Azahar Ali and Rahul Panat. (Credit: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

The type of printer, Optomec’s trademarked Aerosol Jet 3D machine, is key to the process. wrote that “the surface characteristics and specific geometry of the 3D printed structure are what allow the gold micropillars to load more proteins, giving clinicians the ability to accurately detect, in just seconds, if two of the antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the novel coronavirus are present, even at very low concentrations.”

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Read more on and see Duggal’s previous coverage on 3D printing in the fight against the pandemic:

Coronavirus: 3D Printing Nasal Swabs

3D Printing Rises to Coronavirus Medical Supply Shortage