UC Irvine’s at-home COVID-19 test

UC Irvine researchers are developing an at-home coronavirus test that doesn’t require uncomfortable nasal swabbing and delivers results in about 30 minutes.

This new antigen test detects the spike of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in saliva.

“We are capable of detecting really low levels of the viral protein, which is promising for future accuracy of being able to catch early infections as well as infections in asymptomatic people,” doctoral student Julia Zakashansky says.

When saliva containing the coronavirus is placed on a newly designed biosensor, binding occurs and triggers an electrochemical response. The test kit comes with a reader that plugs directly into a smartphone or tablet.