Inventors: Shuler Xu, Medicine & Nipun Sawhey, Physics

The inventors are developing a rapid point-of-care test which can produce an accurate result in 10 minutes from urine, nasal and urethral swab samples, with a similar specificity and flexibility to the gold-standard PCR tests carried out in laboratories.

The aim is to produce a test that can be run directly from patient samples with no technicians needed.

The method allows the test kits to be very wide-ranging and test for a wide variety of disease markers, from identification of bacteria and viruses to early-stage cancer detection.

The inventors have decided not to pursue the market for respiratory viruses, because this is already a very competitive area. Instead they are looking at a range of other applications for the first version of their test kit.

The task for the i-Teams is to investigate the possible uses for such a test kit, focusing on Europe and the UK. Where would access to simple fast tests have the greatest impact on clinical outcomes and treatment decisions, and which applications are most realistically addressable by a new start-up company?