A Rapid, Isothermal, and Point-of-Care System for COVID-19 Diagnostics

J Biomol Tech. 2021 Sep;32(3):221-227. doi: 10.7171/jbt.21-3203-019.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound, detrimental effect on economies and societies worldwide. Where the pandemic has been controlled, extremely high rates of diagnostic testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus have proven critical, enabling isolation of cases and contact tracing. Recently, diagnostic testing has been supplemented with wastewater measures to evaluate the degree to which communities have infections. Whereas much testing has been done through traditional, centralized, clinical, or environmental laboratory methods, point-of-care testing has proven successful in reducing time to result. As the pandemic progresses and becomes more broadly distributed, further decentralization of diagnostic testing will be helpful to mitigate its spread. This will be particularly both challenging and critical in settings with limited resources due to lack of medical infrastructure and expertise as well as requirements to return results quickly. In this article, we validate the tiny isothermal nucleic acid quantification system (TINY) and a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)-based assay for the point-of-care diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans and also for in-the-field, point-of-collection surveillance of wastewater. The TINY system is portable and designed for use in settings with limited resources. It can be powered by electrical, solar, or thermal energy and is robust against interruptions in services. These applied testing examples demonstrate that this novel detection platform is a simpler procedure than reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and moreover, this TINY instrument and LAMP assay combination has the potential to effectively provide both point-of-care diagnosis of individuals and point-of-collection environmental surveillance using wastewater.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • RNA, Viral
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • RNA, Viral