University of Pennsylvania Researchers Develop $2 Zika Proof-of-Concept Test That Needs Neither Electricity Nor a Clinical Laboratory to Return Accurate Results

Using 3D printing and a chemical heat source, University of Pennsylvania researchers have created a proof-of-concept for an affordable Zika test that returns results in just 40 minutes

There’s a gap in Zika virus testing that researchers at the University of Pennsylvania hope to fill. That gap is a point-of-care test for the Zika virus that can produce a fast and accurate result, whether in developed nations or in developing countries that don’t have many state-of-the art clinical laboratories.

Although numerous Zika virus tests have earned Emergency Use Authorizations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), gold standard detection is still limited to medical laboratories. To date, the FDA’s list of current and terminated Emergency Use Authorizations include no point-of-care options to help medical professionals quickly screen patients for Zika infection.

As noted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Interim Guidance for Interpretation of Zika Antibody Test Results,” the antibodies that indicate Zika virus activity also share similarities with other flavivirus viruses. Of particular note is similarities with Dengue virus—a virus prevalent in many of the areas in which Zika is found. (more…)