Amsterdam company develops coronavirus test that can give result in under a minute

A young Amsterdam company, Spektrax, is working on developing a coronavirus test that can give a result within a minute. 

The test is the brainchild of Spektrax founders Eva Rennen and Johan Pieter Verwey. They hope to have a reliable test within a couple of weeks, and to go into production within months, Bright reports. Increasing test capacity is one of the most important conditions for further relaxing the lockdown in the Netherlands.

How does this test work?

Like all coronavirus tests, this one begins with taking a nasal swab. A medical professional will insert a long cotton swab into the nose or throat of a potential patient, and take a sample of the mucus membrane. This is the longest part of the testing process, taking about 30 seconds.

Then, the sample is put on top of a chip, which is then placed into a hand-held scanner. A laser illuminates the sample and the molecules in it start to vibrate. Then the “fingerprint” of the virus becomes clear. This all takes about an additional 10-30 seconds.

How much will it cost?

The makers of the test are aiming for 100% accuracy, and say that so far their results have been promising in that regard. They’re also not yet sure about the pricing of the test, but were quick to say that it wouldn’t be “1 or 2 euros per test”.

Test could be used for plane travellers or festival goers in the future

Once the test is perfected, Spektrax hope to massively scale up production, making up to hundreds of thousands of chips each month. This test is aimed primarily at doctors, but could also eventually be used in different situations, such as to test passengers before they fly in a plane, or festival goers before they enter the festival itself. One person could test up to 30 people per hour, Spektrax estimate.

What do you think of this new test? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Martin Lopez/Pexels

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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