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'Our Approach Is Ambitious': 3M And MIT Researchers Team Up To Develop Rapid Diagnostic Test For COVID-19

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota-based 3M is teaming up with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology to develop a new rapid COVID-19 test that can be completed at point-of-care -- and within minutes.

On Tuesday, 3M announced that the accelerated research is now underway with a goal of a new highly accurate, mass-produced and low-cost diagnostic device that delivers COVID-19 test results in minutes.

The test was selected by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) after a rigorous review by an expert panel. It was part of the government's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech (RADx Tech) program, which is an aggressively-paced COVID-19 diagnostics initiative from NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

3M COVID-19 test team at the pilot lab facility at 3M's global headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. (credit: Business Wire)

"We are excited to collaborate with Professor Hadley Sikes and the team at MIT. Our approach is ambitious, but our collective expertise can make a difference for people around the world, so we owe it to ourselves and society to give it our best effort," John Banovetz, 3M Senior Vice President for Innovation and Stewardship and Chief Technology Officer, said. "This is another step demonstrating 3M's leadership in the fight against COVID-19. We are seeking to improve the speed, accessibility and affordability of testing for the virus, a major step in helping to prevent its spread."

According to 3M, the test would detect viral antigens and deliver "highly accurate results" in minutes via a paper-based device. Furthermore, the test could be administered at the point-of-care and not need to be sent to labs for testing.

Once validated, the research team believes the diagnostic test can be deployed, with manufacturing equipment scaled to produce millions of units per day.

Read more on the research here.


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