ATTRACT technologies to help fight Covid-19: PHIL project develops a prototype


Several technologies being developed in ATTRACT projects may help fight Covid-19. ATTRACT researchers are exploring their technologies to see if they can be used for early diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19.

The ATTRACT project is a pioneering initiative funded by the European Union to accelerate breakthrough innovation in Europe. The ATTRACT seed fund is backing 170 breakthrough detection and imaging technologies with potential to create products, services, companies, and jobs.

One-step detection system

The ATTRACT project PHIL (Leitat and IFAE) has developed a technology to detect single nucleotide mutations of cell-free DNA from lung cancer patients with one quick step. The combination of low detection thresholds and timing information enables the detection using significantly lower amounts of free DNA without DNA amplification (and only using free or purified DNA).

“This detection system could detect purified coronavirus RNA with sensitivity of 90-100% and specificity 100% without the time-consuming reverse transcription and amplification steps needed by the diagnostic tool (RT-PCR) currently used for the coronavirus” says Thorsten Lux, principal investigator for ATTRACT’s PHIL project. The research team is currently working on a prototype that will be fast, easy and cheaper to use.

Read the full press release here.