Thermo Fisher says new test can detect COVID virus in air

Feb. 10, 2022

Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched a rapid environmental test that can detect in-air SARS-CoV-2 pathogens quicker than ever.

The Massachusetts-based research company unveiled the Renvo rapid PCR test which, when used with samples collected from the company’s AerosolSense Sampler, detected the airborne pathogens in just 30 minutes.

Designed for environmental surveillance in community locations like schools, businesses, healthcare facilities, government buildings and such, it uses nucleic acid amplification to detect in-air SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA, the company says. Previously, the company’s AerosolSense Sampler delivered results between four and 24 hours. Now, proprietary OSCAR PCR technology helped reduce thermocycling time yielding the results in 30 minutes instead. 

“There is a clear need for heightened surveillance and testing of indoor air quality,” said Siqi Tan, vice president and general manager of environmental and process monitoring at Thermo Fisher.

The Renvo rapid PCR test does not require specialized training, making it easy and convenient to use. To conduct the test, users insert a Renvo cassette into the Renvo dock, which then tests air samples using a process of fluid extraction called elution. Finally, the machine applies controlled voltage signals to various cassette heaters before delivering results.

The sampling technology is currently approved by the U.S. FDA under emergency use authorization.