Unpad Researchers Developing Two New Alternative Innovation Tools for Covid-19 Test

Reported by Erman

[unpad.ac.id, 14/5/2020] Universitas Padjadjaran (Unpad), in collaboration with the Bandung Institute of Technology, and Biotechnological Industries, has developed two test tools to detect  the presence of Covid-19 in the body of humans: “CePAD detection” and “Surface Plasmon Resonance” (SPR). West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has welcomed the innovation of both tools, expecting them to help handle the Covid-19 pandemic in West Java:

“This is the contribution of scientists who defend the country through their knowledge. I appreciate their hard work. Thanks Unpad, for showing our country’s defence. This action shows our nation’s capability of producing its own biotech tools. The West Java Province, together with its scientists, especially Unpad, collaborating with ITB and the industry sector, has produced two new test tools for Covid-19”, he said on Thursday, May 14, 2020.

After listening to the presentation from Dr. Muhammad Yusuf, the Secretary of the Unpad Research Center for Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, The Governor called  the CePAD Detection tool a “Rapid Test 2.0”, and expressed his impression with the practical SPR tool: It doesn’t require a complicated laboratory process, but only a laptop and a small tool, easing mobility, and reducing cost.

As Prof. Dr. Toto Subroto, Head of the Unpad Research Center of Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, explains, current rapid testing is based on antibodies, but not everyone produces them. The CePAD tool, which will now enter the validation process, is able to detect Covid-19 independently of antibodies.

The SPR tool functions as a PCR test, but it works without a laboratory process. If it detects an interaction between virus and antibodies, it returns a positive result. After succeeding in the validation stage, only ODP or PDP Covid-19 samples will undergo further testing. “These tools are cheaper, while the accuracy is comparable. The results are good so far, specifically if it comes to detecting SARS-CoV-2”, Prof. Subroto explains..

According to the Rector of Unpad, Prof. Dr. Rina Indiastuti, this research proves the commitment of universities to stop the chain of Covid-19 transmission. A number of studies have been conducted by Unpad, including by its Research Center for Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, in collaboration with other institutions.

“These tools are based on our research. Hopefully, they will carry advantages over existing ones, and prove to be more accurate, faster and cheaper. Insya Allah, soon, we all can use these tools”, Prof. Indiastuti adds.(ofi)*