Irish scientists formulate key Covid-19 testing chemical

Irish scientists formulate key Covid-19 testing chemical
The team are hopeful that the reagent they formulated can be used in hospital testing labs worldwide

A team of Irish scientists has joined forces to formulate the chemical reagent needed to test for Covid-19.

The current demand for coronavirus testing materials and kits has resulted in a worldwide shortage of key chemical reagents, which has limited the ability of testing labs all around the world to carry out sufficient testing.

Now, a team of hospital, university & biopharma scientists from Cork and Limerick have come together to formulate a lysis buffer which will allow the country’s laboratories to continue to test for Covid-19.

In the space of one week, and while working remotely, the team formulated and validated a 'lysis buffer', which can be used in the hospital testing labs.

The team are being led Dr Martina Scallan, School of Microbiology of University College Cork, and Dr Brigid Lucey, of Cork Institute of Technology.

“This buffer will ease the burden on hospital labs in their heroic efforts to screen and deliver diagnostic data,” said Dr Martina Scallan.

“We hope that these efforts can help protect all the frontline medical, scientific and support staff in this battle to fight Covid-19,” Dr Lucey added.

The scientists are keen to share the detail with as many others as possible.

Full details of the protocol can be found here.


The latest restrictions in operation since Friday, March 27 mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:

  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice social distancing

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