Lim Boon Chuan, a 26-year-old PHD student at the University of Oxford recently made headlines for being involved in developing rapid test kits for COVID-19.
A Public Service Department (PSD) scholarship student studying synthetic biology at the university, Lim was part of the team of scientists from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) looking for ways to produce user-friendly test kits with faster results.
According to News Straits Times (NST), Lim said, “Our goal is to design and produce something that can be sent to households, so people should be able to do the testing at home easy and fast without going to a diagnostic centre or to the hospital.”
The test kit which isn’t made up of complicated instruments, produces results within half an hour – three times faster than the current method.
Having been sent to China during the outbreak for testing with real clinical samples and producing the desired results, Lim hopes to collaborate with more universities and hospitals in the UK given the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Lim, started working on the project last month when the virus outbreak reached its peak in China resulting in devastating casualties.
Lim was responsible for designing and conducting all the experiments.
“(Actually) this (the research) has nothing to do with my PhD work. My supervisor, Prof Wei Huang, who is from China, is one of two scientists leading the team,” said Lim during a Skype interview with NST.
Based on Lim’s LinkedIn post, works are in progress for the rapid test kits to be ready for mass production with clinical data being promising.
The director of OSCAR, Prof Zhanfeng Cui said, “I am proud of our team that has developed a useful technology and can make a contribution in combating Covid-19. We are very grateful to the hospital’s medical team led by Dr Xizhou Sun, Dr Xiuming Zhang and Dr Dan Xiong for their part in testing this new technology.”
We salute the Oxford team of scientists and Lim for this crucial contribution to the world in these trying times!
On a separate note, every one of us can and must do our part – #JustStayAtHome!
Watch this Community Service Message/parody of Micheal Buble’s hit song “Home” by our very own local celebrity, Vince Chong:
Feature image sourced from News Straits Times