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Point-of-Care Digital Droplet PCR

Rapid point-of-care digital droplet PCR quantification method at low viral loads for saliva and swab testing


Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) remains the gold standard for virus detection from nasopharyngeal swabs and/or saliva samples. However, the need to conduct this assay in laboratories and the resulting long transport time have become a bottleneck on the control of a rapidly spreading pandemic with high positivity rates. Even with its expensive and lab-bound optical instruments, the false negative rate of rt-PCR detection especially for the newly infected samples with low viral concentration is not satisfactory. It is known that, compared with rt-PCR, droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) has better sensitivity by partitioning the samples into large numbers of droplets to enrich the virus RNA and also mitigate the influences of PCR inhibitors. Their simpler optical

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