Bengaluru, February 20, 2021: On the clarion call of the Prime Minister and under the guidance of the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt. of India, research institutions across the country stepped in to support and fight the pandemic with various innovations aimed at providing low-cost virology testing facilities. IISc was at the forefront in this endeavour, and with support from United Way Bengaluru, an NGO, and in partnership with Corporate Partners — global clinical research organisation – Parexel International, State Street, and Bharath Benz, designed a mobile diagnostic lab – Nodal Hub. This is part of the 4-van series of which three vans were made ready in August 2020.
Being the first of its kind, this mobile lab is fully equipped with BSL-2+ infrastructure and instruments including mini-spins, vortex mixers, centrifuge, pipettes, and RT-PCR to carry out sample collection, inactivation, RNA extraction, and RT-PCR testing which is considered the gold standard for the detection of the coronavirus.
M1 – sample collection and inactivation. M2 – RNA extraction. M3 – RT-PCR testing. M4 – Nodal hub. This is a 20 ft container on a Bharat Benz chassis intended for sample and kits storage, biomedical waste management, and master mix preparation. This unit can also function as an independent testing unit with the recently launched CRISPR Feluda test by Tata Medical and Diagnostics can be used for research purposes and vaccination drive as well.
Also named as Mobile Infection Testing and Reporting (MITR) Labs, these vans are designed by IISC incubated startup – ShanMukha Innovations, and approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“United Way Bengaluru facilitated the CSR support towards designing and developing this lab from its corporate partners. Mobilising the caring power of communities is our ethos and UWBe is grateful to all our corporate partners who also believed in the same ethos and came forward to support this initiative,” said Rajesh Krishnan, Executive Director, United Way Bengaluru.
“The COVID-19 epidemic has presented significant challenges for the medical industry,” said Sanjay Vyas, Senior Vice President, India Country Head & Managing Director. “As a leading global clinical research organisation (CRO), contributing to the development of more than 150 new therapies in the fight against COVID-19, Parexel is pleased to support this important initiative bringing labs to patients.”