COVID-19: IIT Delhi Projects On Tests Receive Financial Support From Microsoft
The funds from Microsoft India will be utilized for establishing a fast-PCR protocol for the IIT Delhi ICMR-approved test detection kit.
Two projects developed by Indian Institute of technology Delhi, or IIT Delhi, to battle COVID-19 have received financial support from Microsoft India.
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The two IIT Delhi projects are the PCR-based COVID-19 detection assay and ELISA based diagnostic serological assay against COVID-19.
Dr Sapna Poti, part of COVID-19 special task force at the principal scientific advisor's office, IIT Delhi, in a statement issued by the institute, said: “Research is one of the most important aspects of COVID-19. The principal scientific advisor's office is proud of IIT Delhi that it has successfully developed a low-cost high quality testing solution using one-step RT-PCR assay and working on ELISA methodology. Microsoft India, known for its philanthropic founder and leadership, has supported the initiative both through financial support and global technical resources and infrastructure.”
IIT Delhi Projects
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research-approved probe-free COVID-19 detection assay was developed at the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS), IIT Delhi. This assay is useful for specific and affordable high throughput testing. It can be easily scaled up as well, as it does not require fluorescent probes.
The other project, a tie-up between IIT Delhi and National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, aims to develop an ELISA based diagnostic serological assay against COVID-19. If tested successfully, the assay will create an economical, commercial process for manufacturing the antigens used in ELISA and home-based diagnostic kits to offer “an effective, quick, robust and affordable” diagnostic solution to COVID-19 outbreak.
Prof Vivekanandan Perumal (KSBS, IIT Delhi), principal investigator of the RT-PCR-based COVID-19 detection assay project, in the statement said: “The funds from Microsoft India will be utilized for establishing a fast-PCR protocol for our ICMR-approved assay.”
Prof Anurag S Rathore, dean, corporate relations, IIT Delhi added: “Testing continues to be a challenge in managing COVID-19 and is likely to remain so for the years to come. IIT Delhi happens to be the first academic institute successful in offering a test that has been approved by ICMR. The grant from Microsoft India will aid in commercialisation of the probe free detection assay that has been developed at IIT Delhi and also fund research on examining the possibility of creating an ELISA like assay for COVID detection. This collaboration highlights IIT Delhi's strength in healthcare.”
IIT Delhi in a bid to fight coronavirus had worked on a number of products starting from reusable antimicrobial masks to dashboards to predict COVID-19 spread.