Currently, RT-PCR tests are the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 infections. Antibody tests for COVID-19 took several more months to develop and are less sensitive. However, PCR relies on thermocyclers that cost thousands of dollars. This meant test availability was limited to hospitals during the crucial early stages of the pandemic.
Recently, isothermal amplification techniques such as LAMP have been developed and tested for COVID-19 diagnosis. LAMP has been applied in at-home single-use covid tests that cost as little as $22 before insurance.
We're interested in designing a low-cost and simple-to-use platform for LAMP reactions so that generalized diagnostic capabilities are more widespread. We envision a world where it is both cheap and easy to run a panel of tests so one can swiftly determine the exact virus behind an infection.