A Handheld Device to Quickly Detect COVID-19

May 27  

Via University of Minnesota

“The MagiCoil starts with a tube containing tiny, magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles suspended in fluid. The nanoparticles have been coated with molecules of, for example, antibodies that recognize and stick to pieces of protein unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

“The test involves adding a sample of blood or respiratory material, along with chemicals that break any virus particles apart. This treatment releases the viral proteins and genetic material (RNA) and renders these viral ‘targets’ accessible to the antibodies. The device then applies a magnetic field to the tube.”

“One part of each viral protein present will stick to a particular antibody on the nanoparticle surface, while another part will dangle freely. The dangling part may stick to a different antibody on another nanoparticle, turning the protein into a bridge holding the two nanoparticles together. As this process repeats, clumps of nanoparticles will form and the magnetic signals coming from the tube will weaken, indicating a positive test result.”


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