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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Cheri Ackerman and Cameron Myhrvold explain their innovative new system to test for multiple viruses in one test.

They explain

  • The overarching goal of low cost alongside high scale allowing multiple diagnostics at once,
  • How a microwell array chip and criprs cas-13 work together in this test, and
  • How the timing of this test works and their future goals. 

Dr. Cheri Ackerman is the cofounder and CEO of Concerto Biosciences and Dr.

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Cameron Myhrvold is a post doc fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In this podcast they discuss their project to develop a new virus diagnostic method that involves cripr.

While there are several standout attributes to this new diagnostic, an integral element is that it tests for multiple viruses at once. They explain that they wanted to answer what is making a person sick by testing for different viruses at the same time.

The technology can by summarized as using crispr cas-13 diagnostics in a microwell array.

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This allows different detection reactions for multiple viruses and multiple patients at the same time. As with common COVID virus PCR tests, it starts with a nasal swab. After taking the swab and performing sample preparation as with a PCR test, the process starts to differ, specifically in two ways: the detection is conducted with a small volume, which allows them to do many tests on the same sample; second, the test allows for all of these reactions to set themselves up on their own.

Detection regents and samples self-organize in a way that gets a robust result that crispr cas-13, as an RNA target, allows.

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They explain the method in more detail as well as goals for improvement, including reducing the turnaround time from 7 to 3 hours. Listen for more details about this exciting technology.

To keep tabs on this and related work, visit

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