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The Israeli innovation can test 100 saliva samples in 15 minutes as opposed to one blood test that takes an hour to confirm coronavirus.

By United with Israel Staff

Dr. Amos Danielli of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, developed a saliva test that simplifies and speeds the diagnostic process for coronavirus and gives more accurate results, announced Bar-Ilan on Sunday.

Currently, confirming the deadly virus requires a blood test that takes an hour to produce results. Dr. Danielli’s saliva test can evaluate 100 samples in 15 minutes. Quick diagnosis can help prevent the spread of coronavirus by slashing the time it takes to decide that patients need to be quarantined and treated.

Dr. Danielli explained, “This development relies on the use of two small electromagnets, which are magnets powered by an electric current. By properly positioning them, we were able to create a strong magnetic field and collect all the thousands of fluorescent molecules,” revealing the disease, and “aggregate them inside the laser beam, thereby multiplying the signal strength by several orders of magnitude.”

He said that the solution of molecules is moved side to side and in and out of the laser beam. “As they pass through the laser beam they become illuminated. When they exit the light beam they are no longer illuminated. This flickering allows us, without any additional procedures, to accurately determine whether a person has been exposed to coronavirus.”

The ease of use of the platform and its high sensitivity to recognizing coronavirus makes it an excellent addition for point-of-care use, especially where resources are limited. Dr. Danielli’s team is presently “collaborating with European universities to identify antibodies that the immune system produces against coronavirus,” according to a university statement.

The technology is already in use for diagnosing the Zika virus and is used at Israel’s Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan by the Ministry of Health’s central virology laboratory.

Dr. Danielli is currently waiting for additional funding to fast-track production of his coronavirus detection kit for hospital use.