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FDA approves solution created at Ohio State that will expand, accelerate COVID-19 testing

Ohio State said all test kits come with vials filled with a solution known as viral transport media (VTM). OSU says it can make the VTM in less than 24 hours.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a solution created by workers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center that will expand and speed up testing for the coronavirus.

According to the university, health systems around the world have struggled because of a shortage of test kit components including swabs and a sterile solution needed to transport them.

Ohio State said all test kits come with vials filled with a solution known as viral transport media (VTM). Researchers at Ohio State created an in-house recipe to make the VTM in less than 24 hours.

Additionally, the Wexner Medical Center worked with faculty and staff in the university’s colleges of Engineering and Dentistry to create and 3-D print more than 50,000 swabs for the test kits to be shared with hospitals across the state.

“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.”

The test kits use about 3 ml of VTM. Ohio State has created more than 100 liters of VTM, enough for up to 30,000 test kits.

Last month, the university and Battelle announced a jointly developed diagnostic test for COVID-19 that would allow for faster results.

The university said there are nearly 80 research projects underway across campus.

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