Four times faster than conventional PCR methods, a new approach called RADICA is highly specific, sensitive, and resistant to inhibitors
Researchers from Critical Analytics for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine (CAMP), an Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, have developed a new method for rapid and accurate detection of viral nucleic acids – a breakthrough that can be easily adapted to detect different DNA/RNA targets in viruses like the coronavirus.
While RT-qPCR is considered a gold standard for viral detection, there are limitations and they can often produce variable results. An accurate version is the digital PCR method demands a relatively long reaction time, need expensive equipment, precise temperature control, and cycling.
The new methodological development by CAMP – the RApid DIgital Crispr Approach (RADICA) – allows absolute quantification of viral nucleic acids in 40-60 minutes in an isothermal manner in a water bath, a prototypical and inexpensive laboratory equipment. The team’s research is explained in a paper titled “Digital CRISPR-based method for the rapid detection and absolute quantification of nucleic acids” published recently in the prestigious journal Biomaterials.