Five-minute allergy test passes the FDA's scrutiny

Mariella Moon

A few years ago, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) started developing what they eventually dubbed the "world's most rapid" allergy test. Now, that test has received the FDA's approval and will start telling you what you're allergic to in as fast as five minutes next year. Abionic, the EPFL spinoff that took over the test's development in 2010, created the abioSCOPE platform and its accompanying single-use test capsules to be able to detect your allergies with just a single drop of blood.

After combining the blood with a reagent, the tester will place the mixture on the platform's DVD-like mounting plate (see above) and allow it to form complex molecular complexes with the test capsules. Initial results will pop up on abioSCOPE's screen in five minutes -- the full results are due three minutes later. The system uses the integrated fluorescent microscope's laser to check for the presences of those complexes, so you can quickly find out if you're allergic to dogs, cats, common grass and tree pollens. Sure, the system can only test for four kinds of allergens, but at least you don't have to undergo anything uncomfortable or invasive just to find out you're allergic to your lawn.

EPFL, Abionic (1), (2)

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.