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A Scalable, Easy-to-Deploy, Protocol for Cas13-Based Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Genetic Material


The COVID-19 pandemic has created massive demand for widespread, distributed tools for detecting SARS-CoV-2 genetic material. The hurdles to scalable testing include reagent and instrument accessibility, availability of highly-trained personnel, and large upfront investment. Here we showcase an orthogonal pipeline we call CREST (Cas13-based, Rugged, Equitable, Scalable Testing) that addresses some of these hurdles. Specifically, CREST pairs commonplace and reliable biochemical methods (PCR) with low-cost instrumentation, without sacrificing detection sensitivity. By taking advantage of simple fluorescence visualizers, CREST allows for a binary interpretation of results. CREST may provide a point- of-care solution to increase the distribution of COVID-19 surveillance.

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