Innovation: Covid, from ENEA a portable device to improve molecular testing and variant tracking


Researchers at the ENEA Biomedical Technologies Laboratory have developed and patented a new portable device to calibrate and standardize the different molecular testing devices and also make them capable to detect Covid variants, sending data in real time to a control center.

"Identifying the viral variants during diagnosis was one of the first problems that had to be faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, as was the real-time control of the number of infected people in the area", explained ENEA researcher Vincenzo Cesi, inventor of the patent, who continued “The POCT (Point Of Care Test) machines and kits authorized by the Ministry of Health are heterogeneous both in terms of functioning and sensitivity. Hence the need to develop an innovative device that solves both problems, also allowing swabs to be brought on sites affected by outbreaks".

The device also to train and control the operator's skill levels and dexterity, monitor the wear and calibration and verify, improve and standardize viral detection protocols.

"Following this training path it is possible to provide specific training to health workers and laboratory technicians who have never performed molecular swabs in a short tim specially trained personnel' e, allowing to set up mobile testing stations immediatly operational even without specially trained personnel”, Cesi said.

Finally, the device allows all machines on the network to instantly adhere to protocols and settings for the analysis of other viral or bacterial strains, so to have a  system of swabs to be ready in the future in the event of a different epidemic or pandemic. "We will also be able to reconvert all POCT machines to analyse pathogens in agriculture, animal husbandry and control native species, to protect the IGT, DOP, DOC and DOCG brands once out of the emergency, giving a new purpose to the economic and technological effort faced ”, concluded Cesi.

For more information please contact:

Vincenzo Cesi, ENEA - Biomedical Technologies Laboratory,

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