In response to the dire need for accessible diagnostic testing early in the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked with a group of independent researchers to develop an open-source diagnostic test based on Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP). Our test used saliva as a minimally-invasive sample type collected via a commercially collection kit from DNAGenotek. We then adapted a nucleic isolation process used for DNA to work well with RNA that doesn’t require a centrifuge. The LAMP assay itself is based on NEB’s colorimetric LAMP kit which allows for easy visual readout using a colorimetric indicator. The time from collection to result can be as little as an hour with high specificty and sensitivity.

Overview of results from a from the One Hour COVID test showing accuracy. Overview of the One Hour COVID test Example of temperature screening experiment to determine optimal assay conditions.

In addition to the colorimetric LAMP assay, we explored the use of the QUASR-LAMP technique and developed a multiplex version shown in the banner image that can detect SARS-CoV-2 (green) and a human beta-actin internal control (red) at the same time. In combination, a result with both would result in a yellow fluorescent read-out.

A link to the manuscript describing our colorimetric test is avaiable in the resources section to the left.