Do you want to wait until the next wave of coronavirus to run out of swabs?

May 14, 2020

By Krista F. Ewing, PhD, Strategic Marketing Manager – Diagnostics

Until a vaccine is available, many experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci state that “It is highly likely that we will have […] a return of infections as we get into the next season.” With that likelihood, now is the time to prepare for increased diagnostic testing. In April, we discussed how our SALIVA COLLECTION MEDIA set a new standard of purity and comfort for collecting COVID-19 patient samples in line with the GUIDELINES FOR THE TESTING OF COVID-19 released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

However, did you know that our medical-grade polyurethane foam can also be used for your diagnostic swabs?

Although many different materials have been utilized for diagnostic swabs, at least one study has documented better performance of polyurethane foam swabs for rapid influenza virus antigen testing1 and increased sample recovery over other swab types2. In addition, foam swabs are considered less likely to induce bleeding in immune-comprised patients and can be used for self-collection3.

Our biocompatible foam is also utilized in wound care applications, so you can trust that it will provide the optimal conditions for both accuracy and patient comfort. Just like our saliva collection fibers, our synthetic foam is 100% latex and catalyst-free so it won’t interfere with downstream assays. You can easily create various custom tip shapes, sizes and porosities to maximize sample absorption and patient safety. If desired, we can also include custom additives to increase sample stability.

After working in both research and clinical labs, I’m proud to support our customers in finding the optimal materials they need to make our diagnostic products safer, more sensitive and faster. Let’s continue to work together to make sure that we are prepared as we continue the battle on coronavirus.

  1. Scansen et al. Comparison of Polyurethane Foam to Nylon Flocked Swabs for Collection of Secretions from the Anterior Nares in Performance of a Rapid Influenza Virus Antigen Test in a Pediatric Emergency Department. Journal of Clinical Microbiology Feb 2010, 48 (3) 852-856; DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01897-09
  2. Panpradist et al. Swab Sample Transfer for Point-Of-Care Diagnostics: Characterization of Swab Types and Manual Agitation Methods. (2014) PLOS ONE 9(9): e105786.
  3. Campbell et al. Self-Collection of Foam Nasal Swabs for Respiratory Virus Detection by PCR among Immunocompetent Subjects and Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients. Journal of Clinical Microbiology Dec 2012, 51 (1) 324-327; DOI: 10.1128/JCM.02871-12