INL | Concerted Action: Rapid Diagnostics Systems

At the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, INL, research activities addressing the current COVID-19 outbreak have been fortified through a concerted action recruiting multi-disciplinary resources at the service of the current needs of the society, primarily related to the development of rapid diagnostics systems. We have joined forces with several institutions and authorities in Portugal, Spain and other countries in order to accelerate the deployment of novel detection schemes.

INL development of a point-of-care system for diagnostics

Several initiatives are ongoing:

  • To respond to the immediate challenges faced by the public healthcare service, INL is importing fast paper-based tests for their validation and rapid deployment in collaboration with ICVS, University of Minho, Hospital de Braga and Invest Braga. These low-cost tests can detect the presence of antibodies in asymptomatic individuals that have been in contact with the virus.  Combined with an app that can send the test results to the authorities, the implementation of these kits at population scale would enable the return to the work force to potentially immune individuals at no risk.


  • INL is working on the development of faster and miniaturized devices for decentralized analysis. Advanced Point-of-Care (POC) devices are being designed and tested including all steps of analysis namely DNA/RNA extraction and purification from complex samples such as a number of clinical samples, and amplification using isothermal amplification approaches such as LAMP or RPA. Different sampling strategies are being evaluated and tested to ensure a more representative sample from patients.


  • Additionally, building on our previously developed technology for the analysis of cancer mutations, INL aims to develop a surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-microfluidic chip for fast amplification-free screening of SARS-CoV-2 at the point-of-care.


  • Further, a strategy for direct virus detection involving the technology of Photonic Integrated Chips (PICs) has been developed by an interdisciplinary team, a solution which would allow population-wide screening – before any emergence of COVID-19 symptoms.
photonic integrated chip
Ligações Relevantes


Diagnostics, Point-of-Care, PCR, SERS, isothermal amplification, Photonic Integrated Chips

Utilizadores Associados


Headquarters in Braga, Portugal

With representation in: Scandinavia, Israel, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Austin, Boston, and Brussels.


Portuguese Minister of Science and Education, Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, President INL Council and FCT, VP of INL Council, Deputy DG for Internationalization of Science and Innovation, Portuguese Red Cross, Carlos III National Institute of Health, IMM  (Inst Molecular Medicine, Lisboa), National Health Council & Health School, Porto University, ICVS, Universidade do Minho, Hospital de Braga, Invest Braga, ICN2-Barcelona, Bosch, Calais, Construction Alliance in Portugal, BIOSURFIT

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