The Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Matunga, is creating an indigenous speedy testing equipment, RTqPCR 2.0, for the detection of Covid-19 at virtually half the price of the present check.
A five-member staff of researchers from the institute, in affiliation with the Indian Institutes of Technology Alumni Council, is making a one-step lyophilised actual time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) equipment that may detect a number of ailments. The equipment will include a testing reagent that’s in dry state and will be saved in room temperature.
Currently, RT-PCR check is among the handiest diagnostic instruments for affirmation of Covid-19 owing to its qualitative outcomes. However, since the price of the check is excessive and the tactic of detection is advanced, using the check is proscribed throughout the nation.
The current RT-PCR exams, which have been both adopted or imported from different nations, require subtle fridges to retailer the reagent. This will increase the price of the check considerably. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has capped the price of the check at ₹4,500.
“The reagent is in liquid state and has to be stored at -20° C. It requires standardised and quality-controlled refrigeration facility, which makes it unsuitable for tropical countries like India. Especially in rural India, such refrigeration facilities are not available,” stated Ratnesh Jain, coordinator of the venture.
The scientists are lyophilising this reagent — or drying it out — to a strong powder state that may be saved at room temperature. “This reagent can then be mixed with water and used for the diagnosis,” stated Jain. The strategy of lyophilisation isn’t new to the institute that has previously achieved the identical for pharmaceutical and meals industries.
According to Jain, lyophilising historically helps pharmaceutical corporations minimize manufacturing price by two to a few instances. The product is in growth stage and can quickly be prepared relying on how the funding flows in, he added. It shall be accessible within the MegaLab, an initiative of the IIT Alumni Council to construct a lab in Mumbai with the capability of conducting 10 million Covid-19 exams a month.
Apart from Covid-19, the kits can have the flexibility to detect tuberculosis, dengue, chikungunya, HIV, Hepatitis, choose cancers and a few sexually transmitted ailments. With this, ICT has joined the league of technical institutes which are engaged on indigenous variants of the Covid-19 exams.
“MegaLab Mumbai and RTqPCR 2.0 are excellent initiatives by IIT Alumni Council in the fight against Covid-19. It will meet the immediate need for mass testing through reliable, faster and cheaper genetic diagnostics, in addition to becoming a showpiece for indigenous technology and engineering capability,” stated Anirudha Pandit, vice chancellor of ICT, Mumbai and one of many investigators of the venture.