Students at Purdue University say they are developing a groundbreaking COVID-19 test that’s designed to be taken at home and return results in as little as 30 minutes.

“It’s actually a saliva test,” says Dr. Mohit Verma, assistant professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department.

The test kit is a paper based material with an agent that can detect if COVID-19 is in your saliva. After saliva is collected and placed on the device about the size of a dollar coin, its heated for about 30 to 45 minutes. Once it’s ready, you can tell if you have the virus if the color on the paper has changed.

Verma said his students were eager to continue working on the device while the university was closed, motivated by news reports that current COVID-19 testing can take up to a week to get results.

“What we’re hoping for is for testing to not be on limitation anymore. That’s one of the things that is preventing us from opening the economy back up, getting back to normal because we keep seeing these spikes, people think they might be healthy but because its asymptomatic, there is a lot of problem with that,” Verma told CBS affiliate WLFI.

The test is ready for clinical trials, which will determine how accurate it is. Dr. Verma said the goal is for it to be at least 90 percent accurate.

After that, Verma’s team, based in West Lafayette, Indiana, plans to apply for Food and Drug Administration approval under its Emergency Use Authorization.

After FDA approval, which Dr. Verma is expecting to happen by this August, the test will be initially available in doctors offices and pharmacies. Once the devices are made at a mass scale, it will be available for public purchase and take-home use.

Verma says the cost of the device will depend on who manufactures it. He says it only costs about $10 per test to make in the lab.


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