BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine have created a first-of-its-kind coronavirus test that uses colors to detect the virus with far greater accuracy than current tests.

The test, while still in the works, could be a game-changer, according to Dr. Dipanjan Pan, a professor at the UMD School of Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says coronavirus antibody tests could be wrong up to half the time.

“There are a bunch of tests out there but most of them are not accurate,” Pan said.

But this new test, he said, is accurate and can give results within 10 to 15 minutes.


The test works with genetic material and nanoparticles and uses color to identify COVID-19. Tiny color-changing molecules made out of gold are a key part of the test.

When COVID-19 is detected, “it changes the color from purple to blue,” Pan said, adding the tests don’t require any sophisticated instruments.

“This is really going to be a game-changer,” he said.

That’s good news for people like Lindsey Ellison, who tested negative for COVID-19 antibodies despite her and her doctor feeling certain she had the virus.

“I never coughed so much in my life,” she recalled.

UMD is hoping to get approval for the test within the next couple of weeks.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Annie Rose Ramos


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