Technology Advancements in support of COVID-19 Testing
Lancaster PA, March 30 2020– The continued spread of COVID-19 across the globe is testing the spirits of individuals and companies. During this period of uncertainty, it’s important to ACT that we voice our appreciation for the workers on the frontline of this battle. Thank you to all of the nurses, doctors, scientists and other medical professionals that are both treating the infected and searching for a long-term solution. We also want to recognize key technology advancements that help support the fight against COVID-19.
We came across this well-written DW Article outlining how the Virus is being tested, and wanted to share how the work of one of our partners, INHECO, is contributing to the availability of safe and accurate test equipment. As outlined in the DW article, technology such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) devices are used to select and copy DNA in order to search for specific DNA pieces, such as coronavirus. Being able to copy large quantities of DNA in a rapid fashion is essential to this process, and allows scientists to work with exact copies of the genetic material during research and clinical testing.
This replication process in PCR is almost universally reliant upon thermal cycling, which requires a rapid response from the thermal management system, to quickly keep the temperature uniform for all cells across the entire unit, through the heating and cooling cycles.
One of the most responsive PCR-Cyclers available is INHECO’s On Deck Thermocycler, or ODTC®, which uses patented Vapor Chamber Mount (VCM®) Technology*. These thermal cyclers benefit from enhanced heat transfer, which is achieved through a two-phase solution. The rapid transient response of the vapor chamber allows for precise temperature uniformity required for these high-end biomedical applications. In particular, with the mentioned technology, it is possible to automate NGS workflows to analyze viral genomes of infected patients with previously unachievable speed, quality and quantity. This enables us to understand the mutation rate of this new virus and how many strains exist. It also allows us to estimate how dangerous the virus is today and may be in the future. The achievements we can reach when innovative companies work together are amazing.
This collaboration between engineering and medical technology professionals is just one example of the global teamwork needed in order to overcome the coronavirus. We expect to see a lot of new innovations during this trying period, and we appreciate other companies’ developments to speed up the process of building ventilators and manufacturing respirators!
We at ACT remain proud of our partnership with INHECO and proud of what INHECO and other medical companies across the globe have done to advance this technology to enable critical testing to take place.