Minister of State (MoS) for Education, Shri Sanjay Dhotre, launched a Rapid Antigen Test kit for COVID-19 developed by IIT Delhi. The Rapid Antigen Test kit has been developed by the IIT Delhi researchers led by Dr. Harpal Singh, professor at the Institute’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.
This kit can be used for in-vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen. The SARS-CoV-2 Ag Rapid Test is a colloidal gold enhanced double antibody sandwich immunoassay for the qualitative determination of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human nasal swabs, throat swabs, and deep sputum samples. It is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of COVID-19.
The invention is directed towards an in-vitro diagnostic kit for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigens in the nasopharyngeal swab, using the rapid immunochromatographic method. The identification is based on the monoclonal antibodies specific for the Coronavirus antigen. The results obtained are qualitative based and can be inferred visually with the naked eye.
A SARS-CoV-2 positive specimen produces a distinct colour band in the test region, formed by the specific antibody antigen-coloured conjugate complex ‘(Au-SARS-CoV-2-Ab)-(SARS-CoV-2-Ag)-(SARS-CoV-2-Ab)’. The absence of this coloured band in the test region suggested a negative result. A coloured band always appears in the control region serving as procedural control regardless of whether the specimen contains SARS-CoV-2 or not.
“The test is found to be suitable for early Ct values (Between 14 to 32) with a Sensitivity- 90%, Specificity- 100% and Accuracy- 98.99%, and certified by the ICMR. These are one of the best available values for any such test kit. The technology and its manufacturing are 100% indigenous,” Dr. Harpal Singh.
MoS, Shri Sanjay Dhotre said, “I am confident that this technology will revolutionize the COVID test availability in the country. I am glad to know that the kit has been developed entirely using the internal resources at IIT Delhi.”
He informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is focused on Atmanirbhar Bharat through research, development, and innovations. The focus on research in National Education Policy, National Research Foundation and initiatives like PM Research Fellowship will help further to improve the quality of research in our country. Technology plays an important role in wealth creation. IITs being premier technology institutions play a major role here.
He further asked the premier institutes to make the research centres and innovation parks in their campuses more vibrant and activate industry-academia linkages. For popularising science technology among general citizens, he asked the scientists and technologists to write more on these issues in print and other media, to deliver lectures for the general public, and to venture into the field of popular science fiction and non-fiction writing.
“Mechanisms to be developed for regular interaction of IIT professors and students with the school students in the vicinity, and vice versa, to inspire the school students to venture into the field of science and technology,” said Dhotre.
Speaking on this occasion, Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi had in July 2020 launched ₹399 RT PCR kit, which helped bring the RTPCR test costs to the current level. Using the technologies developed in the Institute, over 8 Million PPE kits have been supplied so far. With the launch of this Antigen based rapid test kit, we hope to make the diagnostics easy and affordable for the rural areas.”