At a time when pandemics can swiftly cross borders, understanding how quickly and accurately infections are diagnosed is crucial. The process central to this challenge is extracting the essential components of viruses, a task that faces hurdles like shortages of materials, high costs, and long times needed for diagnosis. These issues are particularly acute in areas lacking sophisticated equipment for this vital task, leading to delays in essential treatments. This research embarks on a journey to simplify this critical process, utilizing widely available lab materials to explore faster methods for extracting these vital components. By focusing on methods that can be easily adopted across a wide range of lab capabilities, the aim is to overcome the barriers to rapid diagnosis and treatment, a crucial step in outpacing the spread of infectious diseases.

During an era where swift and effective diagnostic measures are essential for managing pandemic outbreaks, a pioneering study led by Dr. Asif Awaludin and Dr. Hesti Wiraswati from the National Research and Innovation Agency and Padjadjaran University, respectively, along with Ilma Ma’ruf, Dr. Harry Septanto, Dr. Savira Ekawardhani, Dr. Lia Faridah, Amila Laelalugina, Dr. Shabarni Gaffar from the same institutions, and Dr. Imam Djati from Bandung Institute of Technology, reveals crucial advancements in the technique for extracting the building blocks of viruses (NAE). Published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, this collaborative work introduces new methods designed to speed up disease detection, including COVID-19, by improving essential NAE processes for rapid testing.

The team focused on refining two main methods: one using heat and another using magnetic particles, aiming to make the extraction process simpler and faster, which is crucial for timely pathogen detection. Dr. Awaludin emphasized the importance of their work, stating, “Our enhancements to the virus building block extraction technique significantly shorten the time needed for pathogen detection, which is critical during pandemic situations.” This approach is especially important in environments where a quick response can greatly influence disease management and control efforts.

Dr. Wiraswati shared insights into the practical applications of their findings: “The method using heat to extract the virus causing COVID-19 can be easily implemented in labs, even those without advanced separation equipment.” This method promises to make essential diagnostic tests more accessible, potentially transforming public health landscapes in areas with limited resources.

Moreover, the research highlighted the benefits of adjusting the speed during the process using magnetic particles to improve the efficiency of isolating these viral building blocks. Dr. Wiraswati noted, “Changing the speed during mixing is required to boost extraction efficiency,” suggesting a straightforward yet impactful strategy for enhancing diagnostic precision.

The impact of this study goes beyond academic interest, promising to significantly affect global health responses to pandemics. By making the process of extracting viral building blocks faster and more accessible, the research team contributes to quicker cycles of diagnosis and treatment worldwide, ensuring a stronger defense against the spread of diseases. This collaborative effort not only marks a scientific breakthrough but also paves the way for the development of affordable, locally made devices for extracting viral building blocks. Such progress represents significant steps towards more equitable health solutions, making rapid testing a reality for communities globally.


Asif Awaludin, Hesti Wiraswati, Ilma Ma’ruf, Harry Septanto, Savira Ekawardhani, Lia Faridah, Amila Laelalugina, Shabarni Gaffar, Imam Djati, Optimization of nucleic acid extraction methods for rapid detection in pandemic situations or diseases with high prevalence, Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, 2023.DOI:


Dr. Hesti Lina Wiraswati, is a lecterur in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medecine, Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD), Indonesia. With a doctoral degree from Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia (in the Indonesia-France Double Degree Program at Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus), her research spans mitochondrial stress response in cancer cells regulation of cell death pathway, biocomputation, and biomarkers. Her background in biochemistry broadened her interest to explore methods and diagnostic tools in molecular biology, specifically for cancer applications. Her current research portfolio also includes cancer cell responses induced by stress agents from synthetic compounds and natural products.

Asif Awaludin is a Senior Researcher with the Research Center for Atmosphere and Climate, Indonesia National Agency for Research and Innovation (BRIN). He obtained a Ph.D. in information sciences from the Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science, Chiba University, Japan 2018. His current research portfolio includes biomedical engineering, smart sensors for weather and air quality, remote sensing, signal processing, and artificial intelligence.