Zurich – The start-up Diaxxo is developing a device that can carry out PCR tests in real time. This eliminates the need to send test samples to laboratories. Results will be available in just 25 minutes. The device is currently in the process of being tested and certified.

Doctors are not currently in a position to carry out tests for viral or bacterial infections at their offices. Instead, samples must be sent to external laboratories, meaning that patients are forced to wait until results are ready. This is above all a problem in the case of life-threatening infections that require immediate treatment.

Diaxxo, a Zurich-based spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), is now seeking to solve this problem with a new PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing device, which doctors would be able to use directly in their office to examine samples. It is a portable device that can also be connected to a cellphone.

“Our device features an innovative, patented, sample-​holding cartridge system that allows us to perform 35 cycles of PCR amplification in less than 20 minutes”, explains Diaxxo founder Michele Gregorini in an interview with ETH Zurich. The test results will then be available within 25 minutes, he explains further in a video.

At the moment, the device is in the process of being certified in accordance with Swiss and European law, with further testing continuing as well. Last year, Diaxxo carried out successful field tests with a focus on coronavirus. The device should, however, also be of use for HIV tests, for example. In addition, it is suitable for testing water quality or examining the presence of pathogens in foodstuffs. In the second half of the year, another field test has been organized to test the device in several African countries.

Diaxxo has now also launched a first round of investment and is actively on the lookout for investors.

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