SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — A group of South Korean scientists developed a screening biosensor that can detect COVID-19 variants within 30 minutes, whose test results are as accurate as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, a state-run science institute said Wednesday.
The team led by Lee Kwan-hyi of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) developed the highly sensitive and portable biosensor to screen variants through angiotensin-converting enzyme called ACE2.
ACE2 is a virus receptor shared by all known COVID-19 variants.
A PCR test, currently the most-used, is a molecular test that looks for the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus. The results of a PCR test usually take at least a few hours.
The developed biosensor successfully detects COVID-19 in 30 minutes and showed sensitivity comparable to that of PCR tests, the KIST said.
On Wednesday, South Korea’s daily COVID-19 infections reached yet another grim milestone of over 13,000 as fears worsened over the rapid spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant.