A rapid, accurate way of testing for COVID-19 infection would be a big step in overcoming the virus’ hold over our society. Now, in an article published in Lab on a Chip, Japanese researchers have developed a promising solution: a novel platform that couples nanopore technology with artificial intelligence.
The researchers first sought to demonstrate that their platform could detect differences between six different variants of SARS-CoV-2. Next, they investigated whether their platform could identify SARS-CoV-2 strains in 241 saliva samples, collected from 132 people infected with SARS-CoV-2 and 109 uninfected people. Not only was the platform able to distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 variants, but it was also able to determine the presence of the Omicron variant 100% of the time.