COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State University says the Food and Drug Administration has approved solutions created by scientists at the Wexner Medical Center that will expand and accelerate COVID-19 testing across the state.
According to OSU, after recognizing that health systems worldwide were struggling with a shortage of COVID-19 test kit components, university researchers created an in house “recipe” to make the crucial viral transport media (VTM).
Test kit components include swabs used to collect samples and the sterile solution needed to transport the swabs. The testing kits include the swabs and vials filled with VTM.
Scientists with OSU worked overnight and created the solution within 24 hours. Essentially, it’s a salt solution buffered in the way necessary to stabilize the virus.
In addition, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, working with faculty and staff in the university’s colleges of Engineering and Dentistry, have created and 3-D printed more than 50,000 new swabs for COVID-19 test kits to be shared with hospitals across Ohio, which will allow more people to be tested.
“We’re fortunate to have the scientists and the resources at Ohio State’s seven health sciences colleges and across campus to create these vital materials and to be able to serve other hospital systems in Ohio and around the country that need them,” said Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “This is what Buckeyes do. We collaborate to solve society’s biggest problems. We’re all in this together.”
Each test kit uses about 3ml (about one tablespoon) of VTM. Ohio State has created more than 100 liters of VTM, which is enough for up to 30,000 test kits, Peter J. Mohler, vice dean of research at The Ohio State College of Medicine said. Ohio State continues to use commercially produced VTM when it is available, but it’s still in short supply.
OSU says more COVID-19 research is happening at the university, with almost 80 research projects underway across campus.