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JNU to develop portable coronavirus testing device

The technology, claims the varsity, will cost of Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh as compared to conventional real-time PCR, which comes at Rs 10-15 lakh.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi | Published: May 13, 2020 3:50:46 pm
jawaharlal nehru university, jnu device, coronavirus, coronavirus latest update, JNU, JNU news, JNU admission, college admission, education news The varsity claims that prototype will be available in four months. (Gajendra Yadav/Representational image)

The Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) is developing a low-cost, portable and battery-operated device to test coronavirus, the varsity said in a statement. According to JNU, the device can complete testing in 50 minutes while it takes 120-180 minutes through the conventional method.

It has designed a chip-based spatial reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) where PCR has been integrated with an in-built detection system containing LED and diode detector, the university stated.

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“The detection of the infection of coronavirus is being majorly done by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCT) by using real-time PCR machine, a very accurate lab test for detection, tracking and study the coronavirus. But this technology is expensive, requires high-end laboratory-based equipment and is time-consuming,” the vice-chancellor said in a tweet.

The advantage of JNU’s approach, claims the VC, is the small size of the machine, less time taken for testing, less cost, a portable device and simple training of personnel handling the device.

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As per the JNU, the technology will cost Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh as compared to conventional real-time PCR which comes at Rs 10-15 lakh. The device is being developed by a team led by Jaydeep Bhattacharya from the School of Biotechnology at JNU. The prototype of the device can be expected within four months, informed the vice-chancellor in a tweet.

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a PSU under the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India has allotted the project to the varsity.

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