The CoraNaspresso as they call it uses the original Nestlé Nespresso capsule as the container for a home made accurate Covid test. The full article is written up over at Hull University here.

The discovery was made while Vittoria Saggiomo from the Bionanotechnology group at Wageningen University and Research was stuck at home during the lockdown.

Instead of watching Netflix, Saggiomo wondered if a testing kit could be made with household items. There are, it turns out different ways to test for the presence of the virus, each with pros and cons. What Saggiomo needed was a way to use equipment households would have or could easily get access to make a cheap, fast and accurate test.

Detecting the virus has depended on the detection of a type of nucleic acid using something called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or antigen rapid tests. The trouble is that while accurate, these tests are not viable for use at home and without special equipment.

A different method uses something called LAMP (Loop-mediated Amplification) which can detect the virus early on in the infection cycle using nasal swans, for example. This is the technology that many research labs are investigating because of its potential to be used in the field.

If you want to get deep into the science, review the original documentation and get the kit and instructions to make them yourselves over here. But the key thing about developing a LAMP test is that it works by ‘amplifying’ the virus to the point where it can be detected.

The amplification process requires a constant amount of heat of between 60-70º C for about 30 minutes. Here’s what Saggiomo wrote:

After unsuccessful tests of many household appliances (oven, dishwasher, washing machine and so on), we devised a working NINALAMP using few grams of PCM, a Nespresso™ coffee capsule and a 3D-printed holder and a litre of boiling water – Vittoria Saggiomo

Most of us would stop there, but it turned out a bit of creative thinking work miracles. Below are some images from Saggiomo’s documented instructions on how you can create a test kit yourself. This process has not been reviewed and should not be relied upon.

Prepare the packaging foam (dry), the 3D printer holder and a clean/ dry coffee capsule with c.a. 6 grams of Rubitherm RT64HC

Light up the fire under a cooking pot containing water, and gently place the CoroNaspresso in the water using the packaging foam.
Pay attention not to let water inside the CoroNaspresso.

Wait until cool then remove the tubes by twisting and pulling them from the device.
Optional but suggested: you can fix the 3D printed holder using glue or by bending the border of the capsule

Once the 3D printed holder is in place, push it down to fix it.
Then place the PCR tubes inside. They should be 1 or 2 mm higher than the border of the capsule.

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