Iowa State University Tries Tech, Could Speed Up Testing Process For Next Epidemic

Ames, Iowa — Iowa State University researchers are trying out a machine which could greatly improve capacities for future epidemic-related testing surges.

ISU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory received nearly one-million dollars from the US Department of Agriculture to study what’s known as Smart Chip qPCR technology. ISU researcher Rahul Nelli says it could significantly increase the number of tests the lab could run for things like COVID-19.

The machine can hold thousands of samples on a single, small testing plate. Nelli says it would better prepare the lab for future disease outbreaks, for both animals and humans.

He says it’s important to invest in this kind of improved technology now to prepare for future pathogen outbreaks. The tech could be available to use in the ISU lab as early as 2025.