Científicos de la UNAM crean prueba que cuesta 300 pesos para detectar coronavirus en 2 horas

La prueba ya se encuentra en fase de validación por el InDRE y podría llegar a los hogares mexicanos en poco tiempo. 

Científicos de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México logró desarrollar una prueba rápida que identifica el material genético del virus SARS-CoV-2, causante del COVID-19. Además, posibilita procesar al menos 43 muestras en un tiempo máximo de dos horas, con un costo aproximado de 300 pesos.

El nuevo biomarcador se encuentra en fase de validación ante el Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos (InDRE), por lo tanto, podría emplearse en los hospitales en un mes para ayudar a combatir la pandemia. El objetivo es proporcionar estas pruebas al sector salud del país para que en una segunda fase se puedan fabricar pruebas caseras, para lo que necesitan una inversión de 10 millones de pesos.

Dicha inversión se utilizaría para adquirir robots que fabriquen los dispositivos de manera masiva, así lo informaron en una entrevista con MILENIO, los líderes del proyecto, Tatiana Fiordelisio y Mathieu Hautefeuille.

“Nuestro biosensor tiene el potencial de detectar específicamente ácidos nucleicos, el RNA del virus, que es como su marca y permite hacerlo masivamente, a diferencia de las pruebas PCR. Es una técnica con muy pocos pasos, con muy pocos insumos y no se requieren equipos muy sofisticados y caros lo cual nos permite usarlo en lugares con poca infraestructura para procesar”, señaló Fiordelisio.

El equipo de científicos encargado de esta investigación pertenece al Laboratorio Nacional de Soluciones Biomimétricas para Diagnóstico y Terapia (LaNSBioDyT) de la Facultad de Ciencias de la UNAM. Estos investigadores han trabajado arduamente durante las últimas semanas para conseguir una prueba eficaz para el diagnóstico de COVID-19, con base en un biomarcador en el que han trabajado durante cuatro años para la detección de otros virus, hormonas y moléculas.

El biosensor de la UNAM identifica el material genético del virus, el Ácido Ribonicleico (ARN), en etapas tempranas de la infección, así como lo hacen las pruebas de reacción en cadena de polimerasa (PCR), avaladas por la OMS, la diferencia es que estas últimas tardan en otorgar resultados entre 24 y 72 horas, de acuerdo con el Director General de Epidemiología, José Luis Alomía.

Debido a la emergencia, los científicos comentan que el biosensor llegaría primero a los hospitales y centros de investigación como parte de la primera etapa de su desarrollo científico. Uno de los objetivos de los investigadores es facilitar a las personas la realización del diagnóstico de COVID-19 en su casa o en sitios donde no hay acceso a laboratorios de análisis clínicos.

Este biosensor casero sería un dispositivo de aproximadamente 10 centímetros de largo y para su producción en masa requieren un financiamiento de 10 millones de pesos para la adquisición de otros aparatos e insumos. La prueba final podría estar disponible incluso en un mes, pero prevén que debido a las complicaciones para obtener el fondo, se llegue a prolongar hasta seis meses su llegada a los hogares mexicanos.

Gracias a nuestros amigos de Nation por la redacción de la nota original.

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