This project was funded through a special COVID-19 focused Technology Project Call the ARM Institute released in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense.
The ARM Institute rapidly responded to the Department of Defense’s need to address COVID-19 by forming numerous national teams, drawing from diverse industries and technologies to address the myriad of supply chain shortages. This is highlighted by a few of the key statistics listed below:
- Rapid contracting with 45 days from the Project Call release to project start
- Projects executed in 12 months
- 13 states and Puerto Rico engaged
- 23 unique organizations participated across the nine projects
This project seeks to make Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for COVID-19 more accessible in the U.S. The developed technology could be used to also test for other diseases.
While many tests for COVID-19 have been developed, the U.S still has not reached the scale necessary for effective management and control. COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests have long turnaround times (2-3 days for lab results). Rapid development of COVID-19 Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) tests would dramatically aid the United States’ efforts towards large-scale testing for current and future pandemics. LFA test strip evaluation requires at least two technicians – one to run the assay and one to interpret results using analyzers that image and quantify individual strips. This project developed a solution utilizing advanced vision systems and flexible robots to accelerate LFA test development by automating LFA test-strip evaluation.
This system accelerates test strip development by 2-3x, improves process quality and reliability, and reduces the number of technicians needed. The technology can be extended to any LFA based test kit development process, is easily scalable, and helps to respond rapidly to outbreaks like COVID-19.
Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies
Project Team: Maxim BioMedical Inc, Siemens Healthineers