Today Brussels Airport launches the trial of an ultra fast PCR test that promises to deliver results in 15 minutes. Developed by Flemish company miDiagnostics, the nasal swab shows similar performance compared to the ‘classic PCR test’, but with a much quicker turnaround time.
The ultra-fast result, delivered in roughly 15 minutes, is possible through miniaturization of the process, with a silicon chip, developed at imec, at the heart of this technology. The temperature cycling needed for DNA replication can be performed 20 times faster than a classical PCR, hence significantly shorten the PCR measurement time. Also, this technology is made highly scalable and requires only a very small instrument for read-out. Production for market launch is ongoing and all critical items are secured.
Our research investments through imec lead to new technological breakthroughs with which young Flemish companies such as miDiagnostics can create unique productsHilde Crevits, Flemish Minister of Innovation
miDiagnostics is also exploring the compatibility of its ultra-fast PCR test with imec’s breath sampling technology, sampling aerosols and droplets from exhaled breath to screen for Covid-19. This novel technology was developed by imec and is now licensed by miDiagnostics for commercialization.
The sampler is based on imecs unique chip technology that was developed with specific financial support of Flemish minister of Innovation Hilde Crevits and underwent clinical tests at the University Hospital and University of Leuven (KU Leuven). The breath sampling technology is capable of capturing the Covid-19 virus in exhaled air and detecting the viral RNA quickly and reliably.
A specifically tailored and customized solution to increase the convenience of traveling in the (post)-pandemic eraKatleen Verleysen, CEO miDiagnostics
The pilot has been launched today, Monday October 18th. All departing passengers that choose the standard PCR test will be able to voluntarily get a second test, either a nasopharyngeal swab or a breath sample, both running on the ultra-fast PCR test.
Participating in the study is possible every weekday between 9am and 5pm, for passengers that get their standard PCR test at the Brussels Airport Covid-19 Test Centre on departures level. Participants will receive a gift voucher as a thank you for participating in the testing pilot.
Currently the Covid-19 Test Centre at the airport receives on average 1,500 passengers per day, arriving and departing combined. In the past year, since the opening in September 2020, over half a million people have gotten tested at Brussels Airport.