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Covid-19 test breakthrough hailed as travel game-changer

July 31, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Imagine an instant, reliable, non-intrusive test that can determine at the door of an aircraft whether a potential passenger has Covid-19 or not. A Canadian company says it has developed exactly that – a breakthrough of incredible potential.

Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC) Inc. together with subsidiary GLC Medical (GLCM) Inc. yesterday announced their development of a graphene-enhanced sensor for use in their Covid-19 Rapid Test “delivering accurate and reliable results in seconds”.

The new “at the door” technology is promoted as “perfect before boarding a plane, entering a venue for a concert or sporting event”. It detects whether the Covid-19 coronavirus is present in the person being tested.

The airport boarding gate might be a better place to administer the test than the aircraft door, but that’s a minor point.

A company statement said yesterday: “This graphene-enhanced sensor supports the fastest and easiest to use Rapid Covid-19 Virus Detection Test Kit and is the only of its kind saliva test, eliminating the nasopharyngeal swab, all certified practitioner oversight requirements, does not require expensive equipment, and there is no cross handling which increases cross contaminations.”

The nasopharyngeal swab is the long probe inserted into a nostril, as used in most tests for Covid-19.

“GLCM’s test directly detects the virus ensuring no false positive/negative results, unlike other tests which detect only the by-products of infection and are therefore unreliable.

“GLCM is pleased to report it has completed development of the graphene-enhanced sensor used in the rapid test kit, which is an in-vitro diagnostic device which produces a signal when exposed to Covid-19 viral antigens.

“With the achievement of the positive identification of the viral antigens, GLCM has commenced development of a functional prototype of the rapid-response test. GLCM expects to benefit from expedited regulatory and clinical-testing requirements as announced by several regulatory agencies including Health Canada and the United States’ FDA [Food and Drug Administration].”

The statement said GLCM’s Covid-19 point-of-care test woud offer a unique advantage over other tests as it detected the presence of the Covid-19 virus.

“To date, other competitive tests that have been announced are predominately nucleic acid tests and serological assay tests. The serological assay tests are designed to identify IgM and IgG antibodies present post infection. Nucleic acid tests identify active infection, however, still require the use of the nasopharyngeal swab and results must be interpreted by a certified practitioner using expensive equipment which is a slow-moving process.

“Both the serological and the nucleic tests produce false positive and false negative results, whereas GLCM’s test has been developed to indicate a positive result only when the Covid-19 virus is present, allowing for direct and clear interpretation by the user.”

Jason Deacon, product development lead of GLC-GLCM said, “Graphene is the ideal sensing material. The 2D nature and conductive attributes of graphene make for an extremely sensitive material to detect any molecule. I have investigated this principle extensively during my time at Cambridge University. At GLC-GLCM, we have made the surface highly specific to SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) to ensure that our rapid test will save lives. The study of 2D materials has been encased in academia for 15 years. Our team at GLC-GLCM believes that nanotechnology regarding 2D materials is critical to future technology and innovation, with graphene at the forefront”.

GLCM’s rapid test is an “at the door” technology which is perfect before boarding a plane, entering a venue for a concert or sporting event, as it delivers instant results regaining confidences to bring us back to our “normal” before the pandemic.

The Company is advancing discussions with manufacturers and governments in several countries in order to facilitate production protocols reflective of their country’s government regulatory compliance requirements.

Donna Mandau, president and chief executive for GLC-GLCM said, “The success of this development offers the world a solution for Covid-19, and as our graphene is tailorable, we can offer a fast solution to future virus’ in rapid modification of our graphene which will ensure we do not relive the major economic shutdown as experienced with Covid-19.

“The inspiration for all of us at GLC-GLCM is to offer our graphene solutions for People and Planet. This rapid test brings family and friends together for times of joy free from fear of Covid-19. This test also brings family together in those times that we need to say good-bye to a loved one. No one should have to die alone again.”

Edited by Peter Needham


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