Nespresso Coffee Capsules May Someday Be Recycled As COVID-19 Tests
By Izza Sofia, 09 Apr 2021
Image via Shutterstock
Coffee pods may just help to detect coronavirus.
Researchers from Wageningen University & Research’s Bionanotechnology group in the Netherlands have found that coffee pods may be able to help identify coronavirus DNA sequences from genetic swabs.
Dubbed the ‘CoroNaspresso’ for its use of Nespresso pods, their test is a modified version of what is known as a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), which can detect ribonucleic acid (RNA) from oral or nasal swabs.
To conduct a coronavirus test, a vial of genetic material is coated in wax—a specific kind that melts at 65°C (149°F) such that it won’t transfer any heat above that mark—before being placed in a Nespresso pod. The pod gets heated in a water bath from a regular stovetop oven.
After the heat treatment, contents of the vial will form one of two colors: red for a negative result and yellow for a positive, according to Fast Company.
The resulting CoroNaspresso device, when tested by other members of the team, with swabs from six people, correctly identified three cases of COVID-19. The study, carried out by Aldrik H. Velders, Michel Ossendrijver, Bart J.F. Keijser, and Vittorio Saggiomo, has yet to undergo peer review, however.
Though the test has not gone through rigorous scientific assessments, it is cheap and easy to use. The downside of this test is that some of the components, including the wax that the researchers used to create its mold, can be hard to find.
So, if you have coffee pods sitting around the house, maybe hold onto them. They might just come in handy one day.
Finally is out, our super cheap, easy to produce in millions, almost universal, and with low waste impact nucleic acid detection (LAMP test for #COVID19) non-instrumental device. The answer is: a Nespresso capsule. The question is: why we did this? 1/nhttps://t.co/ZHe9JHqUcy pic.twitter.com/Llkb3VNhl4— Vittorio Saggiomo (@V_Saggiomo) March 23, 2021
[via Fast Company, cover image via Shutterstock]
More related news