Thursday, 17 April 2014

Czech scientists discover fast way of diagnosing flu

1 July 2013

Brno, June 28 (CTK) - Czech scientists have discovered a fast and cheap way of diagnosing flu via filter paper with two quantum dots, or artificially produced nanoparticles, Denisa Ranochova, from the Technology Transfer Centre of Mendel University in Brno, has told CTK.

The new method that may be applied as from next year already is a result of cooperation of scientists from the Brno University centre and CEITEC - Central European Institute of Technology.

Ranochova said the scientists have applied for a patent on the test and the school is looking for a partner to launch the test on the market.

"We have been looking into various methods of detection of flu viruses for several years. Only this year have we found out a way of applying quantum dots in discerning them," Rene Kizek, head of the team of scientists, said.

The scientists used cadmium sulfide that luminesces under ultra-violet light.

Another team member, Vojtech Adam, said the major advantage of the discovery is the speed of detecting the presence of the virus in a nasopharynx sample.

It takes a couple of minutes, like in the pregnancy test, while the current diagnosing in specialist laboratories takes several days. The new method is also cheaper, he said.

It would be mainly advantageous in mass infections and dangerous pandemics. The scientists say the test kit comprising a piece of filter paper with quantum dots and an ultra-violet pocket torch could be sold in pharmacies and supermarkets. People could apply the test themselves at home.

The scientists also want to create a test that would precisely identify particular flu virus types.

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