The investment group said having previously completed work packages relating to the construction of a viral mimic and the capture SYSTEM for the test, Paraytec’s development of a signal generation module, which contains a synthetic coronavirus binding protein molecule bonded to fluorescent nanospheres, has now been completed.
Meanwhile, Braveheart said work has been initiated and continues to progress on building an optical detection system, which is used to detect and quantify the fluorescent nanospheres that bind the CAPTURE Module in the presence of the virus.
In order to evaluate the operating characteristics of the system, Paraytec has built CAPTURE microspheres coated with fluorescent SIGNAL GENERATION components for the purposes of visualisation and quantitation, with detection of the fluorescent microspheres achieved using a very high sensitivity photodiode that responds to single photons of light, generating an “avalanche” of electrons and registering the presence of viral particles.
In a statement, Professor Carl Smythe from Sheffield University said: “We are pleased with Paraytec’s continued progress in building this rapid test. A key issue associated with [coronavirus] testing will be the detection of disease in people who have very low levels of viral particles in swab or saliva samples. By using a highly sensitive detection system, the test will maximise the potential to detect asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Over the next month, we will be undertaking proof-of-concept testing, which we hope to complete by early October.”