Facing the shortage of reagents needed for coronavirus detection tests, scientists at the University of Liège (GIGA, FARAH, GREENMAT) have developed a technique allowing more than 2,000 tests to be carried out per day.
Development of an automated test thanks to the efforts of ULiège scientists
The University of Liège has developed an automated method for Sars-Cov-2 testing and has secured the supply of the reagents needed for these tests by creating an autonomous production line in its laboratories. Discover in this video the faces of the designers of this test!
The design of an automated PCR test for the detection of Sars-Cov-2 has mobilized since March several researchers and professors from ULiège. As a member of the federal task force Testing - as an approved laboratory for carrying out tests - together with other laboratories in Belgium, ULiège's "Covid diagnostic laboratory" has carried out more than 34,000 analyses in the last three weeks. It now carries out 3,000 analyses per day on samples that it receives from all over Belgium, mainly from rest and care homes.
More than 120 people from ULiège are mobilised (professors, researchers, technicians from the GIGA, FARAH and GreenMat research centres) : 60 people take turns in teams of 20 to carry out the tests, 7 days a week, from 6 am to at least 24 hours a day. The ULiège provides the partners of the federal task force with an R&D follow-up role for the automated method it has developed.
In addition to its laboratory analysis capacities, ULiège has also secured the supply of the reagents necessary for these tests by creating an autonomous production line (chemicals and silica coated magnetic microbeads) in its laboratories. The reagent kits enabling 470,000 tests to be carried out have been ordered by other laboratories of the federal task force Testing. ULiège secured the production of reagents for 2 million additional tests.