Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak, UConn Researchers Working on Simple, Low-Cost CRISPR-based Diagnostic Test for Infectious Diseases

UConn researchers hope to develop a rapid, low-cost method of testing for coronavirus. (Getty Images)

 

By: Courtney Chandler, UConn School of Dental Medicine

Researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering— a shared department in the schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, and Engineering—have been working to develop a new, low-cost, CRISPR-based diagnostic platform to detect infectious diseases, including the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

With the recent outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, Changchun Liu, associate professor, developed the “All-In-One-Dual CRISPR-Cas12a” (AIOD-CRISPR) method to enable simple, rapid, ultrasensitive, visual detection of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV viruses, intended for use at home or in small clinics.

Liu’s lab has long focused on developing simple diagnostic technologies for infectious disease detection.

“The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus has spread rapidly all over the world,” Liu says. “Rapid and early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus​ will facilitate early intervention and reduce disease transmission risk. Our method has a great potential for developing next-generation point-of-care molecular diagnostics.”

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