Lab breakhrough

Scots-made Covid testing swab cuts need for imports

Marc Desmulliez: collaboration

A new COVID-19 testing swab which can collect sufficient viral material from the back of the nose without need of a throat swab is now being manufactured in Scotland.  

The 3D printed swabs provide a less intrusive experience compared to traditional cotton bud swabs, cutting testing time, reducing anxiety and minimising discomfort for patients.  

Crucially, the success of a collaborative effort behind this latest development should reduce Scotland’s and the UK’s reliance on expensive inbound PPE and medical device imports, according to one of the key participants.

The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC), based at Heriot-Watt University, and the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) at Scottish Enterprise have worked with Scottish company Abergower 3D to help manufacture the new design. Once used, the swabs can be processed at labs such as Lighthouse in Glasgow.     

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