The Egypt Japan University of Science and Technology has designed and manufactured a digitized PCR device that can detect a variety of viruses and even bacterial infections in food.
As researchers around the world scramble to find ways to expeditiously diagnose COVID-19 and all its variants, a team at the Egypt Japan University of Science and Technology has designed and manufactured a digitized PCR device that can detect a variety of viruses and even bacterial infections in food.
The project comes at a cost of EGP 1.7 million which was provided by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) through its Information Technology Academia Collaboration (ITAC) initiative. At the core of the pioneering device is a multi-functioning microfluidic chip that forms minute droplets and doubles the number of the DNA’s dPCR through the generated droplet’s thermal cycle.
Traditional PCRs consist of a single reaction performed within one sample. This new device separates the sample into hundreds of smaller segments and tests each one of them. This innovative technology allows for higher sensitivity and accuracy when measuring DNA and even has versatile applications including aiding cancer treatment and developing genetically modified organisms (GMO).
The novel device was invented at the University’s Microelectromechanical Systems Laboratory. The lab’s primary focus is developing micro-sensors and analyzers using microfluidics chips and manufacturing micro-devices. These locally-manufactured devices have the highest manufacturing precision in Egypt – with accuracy up to one micron (1/100 of a hair).