Covid-19, to do the new rapid test will need only a smartphone

A team of French researchers is developing a rapid test for Covid-19 that needs only a smartphone and a special Usb stick: results in less than 10 minutes

A rapid test for Covid-19 positivity that gives results in less than 10 minutes and can be performed using only a smartphone, a special USB stick and a drop of saliva. The system is called Cordial-1 and is the work of a team of French researchers from the universities of Lille and Marseille.

The research group was created as a task force created in March 2020 by CNRS in France to coordinate and accompany research on Covid-19. The Cordial-1 system stems from the need to perform rapid coronavirus positivity tests in increasingly fast time. The first results obtained show a 90% reliability, against the current 95% reliability of molecular swabs, and the response appears directly on the smartphone screen. The procedure has been tested with nasopharyngeal samples, the next step will be to use saliva drops so that the test is quick and useful to use.

Cordial-1: how the Covid-19 rapid test works

The Cordial-1 system project was born from the desire of a group of researchers to put up a united front in the French task force and fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers from the Lille and Marseille poles have developed a system whereby a drop of saliva is sufficient to diagnose Covid-19 positivity in less than 10 minutes.

The system is based on a special USB key, inside which is a tab equipped with electrodes on which to place the sample, whether saliva or a nose-pharyngeal sample. In particular, the tab is made with special nanoparticles attached to the electrodes that react to the "tips" of the coronavirus and produce an electrochemical signal that is sent to the smartphone in a few minutes. This test is particularly important because it detects the coronavirus when it is still active in the subject's body, therefore when it could still be contagious in case of a positive result.

Cordial-1: reliability of the rapid test with the smartphone

According to the first results presented by the French researchers, the test that was performed on nasopharyngeal samples is 90% reliable. A very good result, given that molecular swabs present a reliability of 95%. The next step of the researchers is to use saliva samples for testing, instead of those taken from the nose. Using this quick and convenient test will allow a better triage in the emergency departments of hospitals.

Cordial-1: diagnostic system on smartphone

Not only Covid-19: the diagnostic tool developed by the researchers could be adapted to search through the USB stick and smartphone for positivity to other types of viruses or bacteria, simply using saliva. A tool that could prove useful not only in hospitals, but also in other health places such as pharmacies and clinics, or in places of high flow of people such as airports and borders.