ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, provides the latest sensor technology to ELDIM, a France-based provider of optical metrology technology and related software and hardware design, to support the development of a point of care detection solution for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) using molecular biology and yielding results in professional healthcare environments in only 40 minutes – instead of the previous several hours or days. A specifically developed sensor system based on the ams AS7341L spectral sensor solution allows spectrally resolved read out of amplified RNA of the virus particles, reinforcing ams’ position in delivering high-quality professional health diagnostics.
Optical metrology uses light to set the standards that define units of measurement and for other high-precision research. A team – including Loop Dee Science, a biotech startup focused on point-of-care testing; LRX Technologies, a miniaturized and connected photonic sensors design company; ELDIM, an industrial producer of readers; as well as the University Hospital of Caen Normandy (CHU Caen – Virology department), which is providing scientific input and clinical supervision – has been actively working on the project for several months. All are located in Normandy, France. The resulting solution is the LoopXplore COVID-19 analytical kit and the LoopX, a portable and autonomous professional diagnostics device.
Miniaturization of PCR Testing in Professional Healthcare Environments
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing is fundamental to much of the genetic testing underway today and is currently the most frequently used test for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). However, the equipment and expertise needed to use and interpret the data is highly specialized, can be expensive, and is found only in centralized laboratories. In contrast, this new kind of testing from ELDIM and its partners uses isothermal amplification technology to detect the virus itself without bulky equipment. This has the advantage that patients get virtually instanteous and highly accurate feedback on their health status which can avoid the spreading of the virus.
Collaborating to improve COVID-19 medical outcomes
“The high-precision engineering and design of ELDIM, in combination with the technology and clinical input of its partners, plus ams’ highly-performant and sensitive spectral sensors, has resulted in a miniaturized readout which is both faster and more flexible than PCR testing, but without compromising on precision,” said Pascal Philippon, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing EMEA at ams.
“ELDIM has always focused on supporting new projects with multiple start-ups in various industrial fields. In this important project, we are overseeing the sensor and analytical side of the LoopX solution. Our proven experience in high-end, mass-production processes and manufacturing capabilities will provide healh authorities and future users the best possible quality and reliability,” says Thierry Leroux, President and CEO, ELDIM.