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University of Utah, ARUP Laboratories, Techcyte to Develop Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test

NEW YORK ─ University of Utah, ARUP Laboratories, and Techcyte on Thursday announced that they are collaborating to develop a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test that would be completed in less than five minutes using blood from a finger stick.

The test, called NanoSpot.AI, has the potential for broad use because of its low cost to manufacture and affordability, University of Utah said.

Clinical studies to validate NanoSpot.AI are underway and it could be used to help prioritize people to receive SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and detect whether people have COVID-19 immunity, said University of Utah, based in Salt Lake City.

The test can be "done anywhere without specialized equipment" and can be adapted to test for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 variants as new mutations emerge, Hans Haecker, its codeveloper and a professor at the University of Utah, said in a statement.

NanoSpot.AI is being developed to operate with three blood spots — one to display the test result and the other two to confirm that the test was properly administered. A blood spot begins to separate within seconds when the test result is positive, making antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 readily apparent.

A mobile phone is used to take a photograph of the test card and to send it to Techcyte, a University of Utah startup based in Orem, Utah. The company uses an artificial intelligence-based image analysis tool to analyze the photo.