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Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi pioneered the development of


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Image: Mohammad Qasaimeh, associate professor of mechanical and biological engineering at NYU
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Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesJune 20, 2023: Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi have developed a new rapid test for COVID-19 — a Band-Aid that relies on gold nanoparticles to quickly detect immune antibodies in the blood.

These antibodies, called IgM and IgG, are naturally produced as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection and thus serve as valuable biomarkers to identify infected individuals and monitor the spread of the pandemic. The innovative bandage technology is inexpensive and easy to use, and can be immediately modified to detect other pathogenic infections in future pandemics by using specific antigens for emerging pathogens.

The test can be done at home by applying a special adhesive bandage to the needle-pricked fingertip, just like we use regular bandages to cover and protect wounds. It uses engineered tiny particles based on nanotechnology, called gold nanoparticles, that are one-billionth of a meter in diameter and attach specific bonds, called antigens, that are unique to SARS-CoV-2. These keys are designed using a nanotechnology approach to recognize and bind IgM and IgG antibodies with high specificity and sensitivity, parallel to the key-lock mechanism. When this occurs, the color change indicates within minutes the individual’s infection status – uninfected or infected early immune, active immune or immune response.

The bandage is inexpensive and disposable, so it holds promise for mass testing and screening, including in rural areas where households, public facilities, and high-end testing facilities are limited.

The NYU Abu Dhabi research team, led by Mohammad Qasaimeh, associate professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, a paper published in a journal Microsystems and Nanoengineering.

“This user-friendly test quickly and accurately identifies the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, providing users with important information about their immune response to infection,” said co-first author of the study Muhammedin Deliorman said. Research and research scientist in Qasaimeh’s group. “Going forward, we will explore the potential of this technology for the detection and screening of other emerging viral infections. We also plan to incorporate biodegradable porous microneedles into bandages through on the spot puncture.

Furthermore, Imen Boumar, one of the study’s first authors and former research associate in Qasaimeh’s group, added: “Our goal is to contribute to improved diagnostics and help individuals with health management, ultimately enhancing our ability to fight and control infectious diseases globally. disease.”

Qasaimeh commented: “Importantly, real-time screening for viral infections using tests such as the invented adhesive bandage can play a key role in preventing future outbreaks and pandemics through early detection. The combination of smartphone readings and a dedicated mobile app will open up the possibility for local governments and health authorities to generate location-based heat maps for early identification of infected people, including those who are asymptomatic.By rapidly isolating and treating these people, significant Reduce the spread of the virus and prevent it from spreading to more people.”

About NYU Abu Dhabi


NYU Abu Dhabi is the Middle East’s first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus operated overseas by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi combines a highly selective program with majors in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, and features a world-class center for advanced study. Its campuses equip students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and drive collaboration and progress to address humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s top students come from some 125 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, offering faculty and students the opportunity to experience different learning environments and Opportunities to immerse yourself in other cultures on six continents.

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