IISc-incubated mobile labs launched for Covid testing
ShanMukha Innovations, a start-up incubated at Society of Innovation and Development (SID), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has announced the launch of Mobile Infection Testing and Reporting (MITR) Labs.
The mobile lab is the country’s first and only ICMR-approved BSL-2+ compliant mobile diagnostic lab for end-to-end RT-PCR-based Covid-19 testing.
Developed in collaboration with the IISc, the mobile labs enable significant reduction in turnaround times from 2-10 days to 4-12 hours for confirmatory tests of Covid-19, the start-up said.
Adhering to WHO and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines for sample handling, MITR Labs provide the highest levels of safety for health workers, and the lab adds a critical element to India’s response to the Covid-19 challenge, ShanMukha Innovations claimed.
Rapid deployment of MITR Labs to emerging hotspots and containment zones will provide an effective solution to controlling the spread of infection, it added.
Arun B, Director, Shanmukha Innovations, said: “We are glad to launch India’s safest mobile labs for Covid-19 to support the testing scale-up across India. We look forward to working with State governments and partners to deploy this solution to serve our fellow citizens. With the number of new Covid-19 cases rising exponentially, there is an imminent need to deploy multiple such labs across the country. The recent interest from the Karnataka government to introduce a lab on wheels is a step in the right direction.”
Supported by CSR donors including SBI Foundation and Tata Motors, the first set of MITR Labs were successfully tested with the BSL-3 central lab operational at IISc. The first batch of MITR Labs are ready for deployment. The mobile labs have the capacity to process 6,000 samples a month with the potential to go up to 9,000 samples per month with additional equipment and workflow optimisations.
ShanMukha Innovations has started engaging with various State governments for additional units. It is also actively working with partners to scale up the solution across India. The company’s work integrates a wide range of science and technologies including optofluidics (synergistic combination of optics and microfluidics), mechatronics, image-processing, machine-learning, bio and nano-sciences. Apart from healthcare, the technologies developed are relevant to a number of other areas such as testing of water, air, soil, food and milk quality.