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Optical Sensing Solutions for Rapid Virus Diagnosis

  • Medical & Life Sciences
  • Fluorescence
Optical Sensing Solutions for Rapid Virus Diagnosis

Ocean Optics optical sensing technologies are helping biotechnology and pharmaceutical researchers tackle challenges associated with rapid, reliable testing and diagnosis of viral infections including COVID-19.

Solutions for Virus Testing

Ocean Optics optical sensing technologies including fluorescence-based PCR and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can be implemented into portable systems developed by manufacturers for virus detection and testing.

Our optical sensing technologies drive limits of detection (LOD) to levels unheard of in most portable viral detection devices, significantly speeding up pass/fail COVID-19 test results. Also, samples can be collected from saliva, which eliminates the need to swab the nasal cavity or back of the throat, speeding up test prep and improving patient comfort.

Infographic showing the three different types of COVID-19 tests

We have been working with several customers developing rapid COVID-19 tests. It’s amazing that customers use different optical approaches to get to the same answer – and that Ocean Optics sensing technologies can be adapted to support those methods.

Derek Guenther - Senior Application Scientist

Spectral Tools for Testing Challenges

Even with the eventual delivery of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, healthcare officials will need to continue screening large numbers of people for the virus. Here are three areas for improvement with existing testing technologies:


Stopwatch icon to create sense of speed

Both molecular and antigen diagnostic tests can take up to 30 minutes.
Optical solutions from Ocean Optics can help speed up the process to just a few minutes,
with SERS and other detection technology that measures even trace levels of the virus.



Laptop icon to create a sense of portability

As testing speed improves and results are provided within seconds, diagnostics manufacturers will develop portable systems for mobile testing in clinical facilities and locations such as schools and transportation hubs. Compact, accessible optical sensing technology will be ideal for such systems.


Patient Comfort

Happy smiley face to create sense of patient comfort

Molecular COVID-19 tests often require a swab from the back of the throat, which is uncomfortable for many subjects. Newer tests can be done using saliva, which is much easier to collect and less invasive for the patient. Typically, these are PCR or Raman-based tests that require spectroscopic detection technology.

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Infographic showing advantages of optical sensing for virus detection

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