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Multi-User Equipment approved in grant 20/04635-4: gel photodocumentation system


With the recent pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), early diagnosis and isolation of infected patients have become essential measures to reduce and delay viral spread. However, the insufficient number of diagnostic tests for the infection has limited the ability of clinicians and public health specialists to accurately determine and track the prevalence, severity, mortality and transmissibility of this disease. In this project, it is proposed the development of a disposable, simple and low-cost microfluidic device for the detection of three RNA sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus N1 gene, aiming at the quick and accurate diagnosis of COVID-19. The performance of our Research Group has been guided by the development of devices like this for the detection of protein biomarkers aiming at the diagnosis of diseases with the partnership of Research Groups in the health area, which has generated important results with a strong impact on innovation. Furthermore, it is proposed to build a microfluidic platform using easily accessible materials and simple equipment, which will allow the analysis of different samples simultaneously. The device will consist of several microfluidic channels, each containing four independent sensor regions, which will allow detection by electrochemiluminescence of the three RNAs of the virus in addition to a human RNA, which will be used as the device's internal control. The applicability of the devices to be built will be evaluated initially in standard samples containing synthetic sequences (positive and negative) and, in a second moment, in samples from patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 supplied by the UFSCar University Hospital. The project also aims at training human resources at different levels and publishing articles in indexed national and international journals as well as filing patents. Therefore, the development of a device for rapid, selective, and low-cost detection of viral RNA will allow the early diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, while meeting an international public health need. (AU)