A biochip that could detect several viruses in bananas and potatoes has been developed in Taiwan, it was reported Wednesday.
The chip, co-developed by Chang Chin-an, a professor at Chaoyang University of Technology and Dr. Chip Biotech Inc., is expected to be released commercially in mid-2014, with annual sales projected at NT$200 million to NT$300 million.
"Our edge lies in being able to test for several viruses simultaneously," Chang said.
Bananas and potatoes are major crops that are prone to filterable viruses that can threaten quality and production volume, he said, adding that the chip can help improve testing efficiency and reduce costs.
A conventional test checks for one virus at a time and takes at least five hours, which is time-consuming and not very economical, Chang said.
In contrast, the newly developed chip can simultaneously check for three viruses found in bananas and five in potatoes, he said.
He noted that around US$200 million is spent worldwide annually to test bananas and potatoes for viruses by conventional means. A test for three viruses costs around NT$360, but the biochip could reduce that by half, Chang added.
Dr. Chip Biotech President Wang Shin-hwan said the feasibility assessment of the chip has been completed ahead of it commercialization and it meets test standards of the European Union.
Published on: 11/14/2013