- Source : Press Release
- Date : 2020-09-29
- Companies : The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
Doherty Institute Researchers Named Semi Finalists in XPrize Rapid COVID Testing
Two innovative Doherty Institute projects have been shortlisted as XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing semi-finalists.
Launched in July 2020, XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing is a US $5million, 6-month competition that aims to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities 100-times past the current standard.
A team headed up by Professor Tim Stinear, Dr Andrew Buultjens and Dr Koen Vandelannoote have submitted two projects, the Ender VX-500 and the FABL-8. Both involve re-purposing 3D printers to allow for low-cost, high-throughput and portable COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
“For the 3D-Liberty-Dx, we have been able to use 3D printers to harness the power of automation, a single instrument run by one operator, can process 48-72 specimens an hour, a team of four people could process up to 384 specimens per hour,” Professor Stinear said.
“Each printer costs US $300, and the required modifications are printed from the instrument to convert it into diagnostics robot.”
Dr Buultjens said in the fight against COVID-19 rapid and decentralised is likely to be key.
“Our device, the FABL-8 is a good contender for this role, it's rapid, simple-to-perform, sensitive and specific to picking up SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in both saliva and nasal swab samples,” he said.
“Through our validation experiments, we found our system was equal in performance to commercial devices, which cost around US$5000, compared to the FABL-8, which is around US$300 each.”
The teams are now required to complete a blinded proficiency test kit to accurately identify which samples contain COVID-19. Their results will be scored on specificity, sensitivity and limits of detection.
Finalists will be announced on 23 October, with a US$1 million prize awarded to each of the top five teams that develop frequent, fast, cheap and easy COVID-19 screening solutions.
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world's grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE, the $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, XPRIZE NextGen Mask Challenge and $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing. For more information, visit xprize.org.