Existing corona rapid tests are based on known detection methods, such as those already used for other viruses. These include the rapid antigen tests, which have advantages in the fast detection of results, but do not always score with their reliability. On the other hand, there are PCR tests, which reliably detect a very low viral load, but which cannot be classified as a rapid test due to duration and effort. The biochip, which is being developed at TU Wien, is intended to build a bridge between the two established test systems. A rapid test will be developed, which is to provide reliable results and eliminate the weaknesses of established methods.

The method used at TU Wien is based on a different measuring principle than existing tests and shows its strengths especially with a low viral load, reliably detecting it in a short time. The development of a self-sufficient biochip for the rapid detection of a SARS-CoV-2 infection is led by Professor Peter Ertl from the TU Wien research group Cell Chip.

Promotion: EUR 114,000

“Our method has several advantages over current procedures. Today’s tests are evaluated by simple visual examination: Somewhere, a test strip changes color. With a very small amount of virus, the effect may be too small to be noticed. Our aim was to have the lowest possible rate of false-negative results. Even the smallest viral loads should be capable of being verified. Current tests often take about twelve minutes That doesn’t sound like much, but if I want to test everyone upon entering at a big event, for example, it becomes difficult. With our test, this can happen a lot quicker.”

Peter Ertl