Fingerprint testing firm aims to develop COVID-19 solution

Intelligent Fingerprinting – developers of a portable fingerprint-based drug screening system – believes the capabilities of its technology and portable instrumentation could lead to the development of a COVID-19 test.

Currently, Coronavirus diagnostic tests can take hours if they have to wait for results at a hospital, or days if the swab test sample needs to be sent off to a laboratory for testing.

However, by using the lateral flow assay technology within Intelligent Fingerprinting’s testing cartridge and the fluorescence measurement techniques within its portable reader, it believes there is potential to create a portable Coronavirus diagnostic testing approach that could deliver results on-site within just ten minutes.

Lord Darzi, director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, said: “Meeting UK COVID-19 testing goals is a critical part of our collective effort in controlling the virus, and fingerprint-based testing could, if developed, have an important role to play in accelerating the testing process. I’m supporting Intelligent Fingerprinting’s efforts to accelerate the development of this test, and I am particularly keen to see other potential partners get involved as quickly as possible.”

The company’s DSR-Plus analysis unit is based on the technique of fluorescence. This means that by using its DSR-Plus reader and lateral flow-based screening diagnostics, Intelligent Fingerprinting can detect specific drugs or their metabolites in the eccrine sweat collected from fingerprints. Intelligent Fingerprinting’s technology detects picogram amounts of chemicals, as opposed to routine screening technologies that detect nanogram amounts – enabling a thousand-fold improvement in sensitivity.

Philip Hand, executive chairman of Intelligent Fingerprinting, said: “The national goal is to make Coronavirus testing available for as many people as possible, and Intelligent Fingerprinting is keen to work with its testing industry counterparts to help achieve this target. We think fluorescence measurement has a valuable role to play, but we’re going to need some help when it comes to accelerating development and enabling volume manufacturing. Now is the time for the testing sector to come together to support the international effort to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus.”

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