The Germany-based engineering company Bosch has developed the world’s fastest polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which gives reliable COVID-19 results in 39 minutes.
The new rapid test designed for Bosch’s Vivalytic analysis device to detect the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen aims to decentralize the dependency over mobile test centers at freeway service stations or airports. Bosch claims the test has a sensitivity of 98 percent and a specificity of 100 percent.
To develop the fastest PCR test, the German firm’s subsidiary Bosch Healthcare Solutions has partnered with a biotechnology company R-Biopharm, a provider of manual PCR tests. PCR tests are considered the gold standard of test methods.
For conducting the test, a sample is taken from the patient’s nose or throat using a swab and placed in the test cartridge. Then the cartridge, which already contains all the reagents required for the test, is inserted into the Vivalytic device for automated analysis.
Vivalytic is a universal platform for molecular diagnostics, which performs various laboratory tests swiftly and automatically. The device conducts a wide range of tests with a varying number of clinically relevant parameters on one device.
“One of the keys to fighting the coronavirus pandemic is to rapidly identify sources of infection. That’s why we focused on following up on our first coronavirus test with an even faster one,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch.
The first rapid test for the Vivalytic analysis device was launched at the end of March and it is available in the Middle East. As it is a multiplex test, it simultaneously checks samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and nine other respiratory diseases in a time frame of two and a half hours and the new test is specifically developed for COVID-19.
Bosch has been working to advance its COVID-19 testing capacity and since October, it has become able to examine five samples simultaneously in one test cartridge and swiftly.
With the Vivalytic device, Bosch is increasing its test capacity, enabling automated processing of more than 160 samples a day.