A corona test for the masses

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 8 minuten

Dutch companies Lionix, Qurin and Surfix, along with public-private partnership Photondelta, have set out to unlock the potential of integrated photonics for corona testing. Their ultimate goal: a fast, reliable, yet inexpensive corona test.

It’s considered the holy grail of medical diagnostics: point-of-care testing. A sample taken from the patient is tested on the spot, next to the hospital bed, in the general practitioner’s office or even at home, and within minutes the result is in. It’s convenient, in some cases life saving, and there’s no time-consuming and expensive lab work involved. Imagine what the availability of such a quick and reliable test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (colloquially known as the coronavirus) would mean in the fight against the current pandemic.

Developing such a test is exactly what three Dutch companies, co-financed and supported by public-private organization Photondelta (see sidebar “Photondelta’s growth strategy”), have set out to do. Combining Lionix International’s integrated photonics technology with Surfix’s nanocoatings and Qurin Diagnostics’ biomedical expertise, they aim to have SARS-CoV-2 testing devices in doctors’ offices by the end of next year. The ultimate goal, however, is to make a test for the masses: a widely available, disposable test that only costs a few euros.

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