This usually involves a test using a technique called immunochromatography and can determine if antibodies have been produced, but this is neither the best nor the most accurate technique, and testing can take days or even a week.
This is a problem posed by Yoshihiro Ito of RIKEN CEMS, whose team has since produced a fast-paced antibody test kit that can return results in just 30 minutes. This technology was actually developed by Ito a few years ago that can immobilize organic compounds that can help measure the history of immune infection.
Over the years, the technology has improved and has since expanded to more than 40 different allergens, and now covers several key COVID-19 proteins. The way it works is that the microchip is coated with a substance that can react to light. The sample liquid containing the protein of interest falls on the microchip and is then exposed to ultraviolet light which immobilizes the protein.
The CCD camera is then used to measure the amount of light emitted that occurs when antibodies in the blood serum bind to viral proteins, and from there the system can quantify the number of antibodies present.
According to Ito, “Standard quantitative antibody analysis usually requires half a milliliter of blood drawn from one arm, which is a lot! But in our system, only a small drop of blood from the fingertip is needed, and the sensitivity of the system is 500 times higher than that of conventional immunochromatography, which means that detection is possible even when the number of antibodies is very low. ”
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