LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The University of California, Davis has partnered up with Allegiant Airlines’ CEO Maurice Gallagher, a UC Davis alumnus, to create a rapid test that has efficacy in the high 90 percentiles for positive and negative COVID tests.
“Our technology is able to do 48 samples in 20 minutes,” says Nam Tran, lead author for the study and a professor of pathology in the UC Davis School of Medicine.READ MORE: LA County Reports First Death From West Nile Virus This Season
The goal is to have a fast, cheap test and have a system to be able to do a multitude of tests at a given time.
“It has the ability to test millions of people a day once we get it to the right place,” Gallagher tells CBS Sacramento.
Gallagher’s startup company, SpectraPass, is aiming to bring the test to the public once approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, especially within industries hit hard by the pandemic.
ICYMI: @UCDavisHealth is creating a new rapid, affordable #COVID19 test that could operate at scale for people in airports, schools and more. The project is in partnership with @ucdavis alum Allegiant Airline CEO. @CBSSacramentohttps://t.co/uo5ZDrasG4
— University of California Health (@UofCAHealth) May 12, 2021READ MORE: Man In Critical Condition After Being Stabbed In Lancaster
“I’m not sure you couldn’t say that the travel and tourism business wasn’t the number one impacted industry,” he says. “We just sat down and our revenues went to zero in a 30-day period.”
The technology behind the test is an “analytical instrument known as a mass spectrometer, which is paired with a powerful machine-learning platform to detect SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs,” UC Davis researchers say.
“A swab sample gets put on a metal plate. A laser hits that plate where the sample is and it vaporizes the proteins that are on there and it measures those different proteins,” Tran said.
The coupling of these unique elements may also be able to quickly adapt to detect other diseases and perhaps future pandemic organisms.
“As new diseases show up, we just train it on that and it’s able to pick up on those diseases thereafter,” Tran said.MORE NEWS: Man Shot to Death In Los Angeles
Tran says the final cost for one of the new rapid tests is expected to be less than $10.