Edmund Optics Teams Up with MiCo BioMed on COVID-19 Diagnostics

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Edmund Optics and MiCo BioMed Co. Ltd. have collaborated on a highly sensitive molecular diagnostic device, the VERI-Q PCR 316, that is capable of detecting COVID-19 within an hour.

The device uses optical filters, beamsplitters, lenses, and mirrors in a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRt-PCR) test, in which a small sample of DNA is amplified and studied in detail.

PCR screening systems typically use fluorescence where targeted double-stranded DNA molecules are tagged with fluorescent dyes that emit light when exposed to a shorter wavelength input, following a similar schematic to fluorescence microscopes. An excitation filter allows wavelengths from the illumination source to pass through. The wavelengths reflect off a dichroic filter and are focused onto the sample by lenses. The fluorescent emission from the sample transmits through a dichroic filter toward lenses that focus the light onto the system’s detectors. Measuring the amount of fluorescence allows the system to determine the presence of molecules that would indicate if a sample is positive for COVID-19. 

Other diagnostic tests can exceed 24 hours to produce results, which makes them impractical for testing at airports and borders. By using real-time PCR screening to analyze patients, health care decisions can be made quicker. The device is being used in countries including Poland, Hungary, Romania, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Senegal, and Brazil. MiCo BioMed is currently seeking FDA approval for use in the United States.

Published: April 2020
Fluorescence is a type of luminescence, which is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation. Specifically, fluorescence involves the absorption of light at one wavelength and the subsequent re-emission of light at a longer wavelength. The emitted light occurs almost instantaneously and ceases when the excitation light source is removed. Key characteristics of fluorescence include: Excitation and emission wavelengths: Fluorescent materials...
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