A 10-minute fingerprint COVID-19 test is being developed for use by non-medical staff in care homes.
UK diagnostics firm Intelligent Fingerprinting and Imperial College London have joined forced on development of the test.
“Intelligent Fingerprinting is delighted to be working with researchers at Imperial College London on this important development project,” said Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Executive Chairman, Philip Hand. “Bringing together our joint expertise will greatly enhance the potential of delivering this ground-breaking testing solution in a meaningful timeframe.”
A fingerprint-based system could play a significant role in enabling rapid coronavirus testing at the point of care. Current diagnostic tests for coronavirus – which tell whether people have the COVID-19 virus – can take hours or even days if the test sample needs to be sent off to a laboratory for analysis.
In contrast, the Intelligent Fingerprinting approach, which works by collecting fingerprint sweat onto a small test cartridge for analysis using a portable reader, has potential to deliver a positive or negative COVID-19 result on-site within just ten minutes. The system is hygienic and non-invasive and by using the sweat from fingerprints rather than nasal or oral fluid samples, there is no hazardous biological waste associated with each test.
Lord Darzi, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, said: “I continue to support this development initiative. Adding rapid point of care testing capacity would help us to get much closer to understanding the spread of the virus. Fingerprint testing using a portable system would also be particularly valuable in supporting simple and easy testing by non-medically trained staff at multiple sites across the UK, such as care homes and workplaces.”
Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA). The company is based in Cambridge, England and employs around 30 people.