GS Plastic Optics to produce laser waveguide for 5-minute COVID-19 test

Sept. 23, 2021
GS Plastic Optics has been chosen as the lead source for the laser waveguide, which is a key component to LightDeck Diagnostics’ point-of-care platform for detecting the COVID-19 pathogen and other indications.

Precision polymer optics maker GS Plastic Optics (GSPO; Rochester, NY) has been awarded a contract to produce optical components for a COVID-19 antibody testing platform developed by diagnostic testing company LightDeck Diagnostics (Boulder, CO).

On July 6, 2021, LightDeck was recently awarded a $35.1 million contract through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase production capacity for their point-of-care product platform. The company introduced a screening platform that can power SARS-CoV-2 ultra-rapid antigen and COVID-19 total antibody tests, providing results in as little as 5 minutes. It incorporates a laser waveguide with a consumable cartridge into which a sample is dispensed for testing.

GSPO has been chosen as the lead source for the waveguide, which is a key component to LightDeck’s point-of-care platform detecting the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen and other indications. The waveguide will be injection-molded in GSPO’s Rochester facility.

$5 million of the contract awarded to LightDeck will be allocated to equipment and facilities expansion at GSPO, including an 8000 sq. ft. expansion of the existing injection molding building to house additional presses, tooling, automation, and ancillary equipment dedicated to the production of the LightDeck waveguide. The funding will allow GSPO to support LightDeck’s increase in production capacity to one million waveguides per month by fall 2022. In addition, the project will create as many as 15 new jobs on the GSPO optics team.

The original contract awarded to LightDeck has been funded through HHS/ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Source: GS Plastic Optics press release

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