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AACC 2020 Disruptive Tech Award-Winning Diagnostic Testing Platform Could Detect COVID-19 in 14 Minutes

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Dec 2020
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Image: FINDER (Photo courtesy of Baebies)
Image: FINDER (Photo courtesy of Baebies)
A COVID-19 test is being developed on a near-patient testing platform that won the Disruptive Technology Award at the 2020 AACC virtual meeting and could perform rapid reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to generate results in as little as 14 minutes.

The AACC's Disruptive Technology Award recognizes innovative technologies for diagnostic testing that can improve patient care. The Finder diagnostic testing platform from Baebies (Durham, NC, USA) is designed specifically for infants and requires a smaller blood sample. The CE-Marked platform includes an instrument and a cartridge, which tests for Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) from low blood volume, a single drop of whole blood (50 μL), with a turn-around time of approximately 15 minutes after sample introduction.

FINDER uses digital microfluidics (DMF), a method to programmably manipulate separate droplets of liquid by electrical control of surface tension, or electrowetting, to perform bioassay protocols. DMF enables quick precision handling of discrete droplets on FINDER’s disposable cartridge - which is completely self-contained with all reagents on board. DMF supports multifunctional assay methods - including molecular, immunoassay, and chemistry - on the same cartridge. FINDER has a small footprint at just eight inches wide along with a tablet for user interface.

FINDER has a robust test development pipeline. Due to the current need for rapid diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2, a test for the detection of COVID-19 is being developed on FINDER 1.5 to perform rapid RT-PCR to generate results in as little as 14 minutes.

“Every test is a chance to save a life,” said Vamsee Pamula, PhD, co-founder and President of Baebies. “While we will continue to give babies a healthy start in newborn screening with FDA-authorized SEEKER, we can now expand to save even more lives with FINDER.”

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