Sixth Wave Innovations (SIXW.C) announced that it has improved the sensitivity and capability of its leading-edge nanotechnology, allowing it to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 at levels below 1,000,000 virus particles/mL.
Improved sensitivity will allow the sensors to detect the presence of COVID-19 in an area sooner, shortening people’s exposure to someone with the virus. If the system only detected the virus only after the air had been saturated by the virus, it wouldn’t serve much of a purpose, as everyone would already have been exposed, so making sure it is sensitive is crucial to its effectiveness.
“Reaching sensitivity measurements of 1,000,000 virus particles/mL is a huge technical achievement,” stated Dr. Michael Joyce, a virologist who carried out the research at the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. “At this level, infectious persons who are actively shedding the virus can be detected.”
The test was undertaken using live virus with a pseudo-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. The pseudo-ELISA test used Sixth Wave’s patented Accelerated Molecular Imprinted Polymers (AMIP) technology.
The AMIP technology was recently shown to have the ability to detect the COVID-19 Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in much of the world.
“We have been very impressed with the capabilities and rapid development of the AMIPs technology,” continued Dr. Joyce. “The technology has now shifted from a proof-of-principle phase to the point of achieving the technical objectives required for clinically relevant prototypes.”
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, even in countries where vaccines are readily available, COVID monitoring is seeming like an inevitable part of our future.
After recent improvements to the AMIP technology, the technology has been integrated with continuous flow processing, which allows for constant monitoring by systems. This capability could allow HVAC systems and wastewater treatment plants to automatically monitor what is passing through, and whether what is passing through is carrying any particular virus or bacteria.
Not only could this technology be used to monitor specific locations, but it could be used to monitor large areas to sooner anticipate outbreaks and localize them. There are many potential applications for this technology, and the more sensitive it is, the better it can fulfill its function.
“Hitting this level of detection is a huge achievement for us,” says Dr. Garrett Kraft, Vice President of Innovation at Sixth Wave. “With this technical milestone we are fulfilling the sensitivity requirements for many of our intended end-use applications for high throughput screening. These types of applications are of special interest to Sixth Wave because they take advantage of the robust and low-cost nature of the AMIPs technology and address an unmet need in the marketplace.”
Following the news, Sixth Wave shares are up a cent and a half and are currently trading at $0.345.
Full Disclosure: Sixth Wave Innovations is an Equity Guru marketing client.