Diagnostics – Analytical protocols

Diagnostics – Analytical protocols


This section includes apparatus and devices for the diagnosis of coronavirus infection or for monitoring the symptoms associated with the infection in patients. It also includes computer implemented technologies that support the practitioner in the diagnosis of the infection. All searches have been carried out combining the relevant and specific patent classifications and keywords.

Virus in samples

The following queries contain a selection of devices for isolating and analysing samples from the environment and/or the patient to determine the presence of the coronavirus.

Sampling from the environment or from the patient

This section includes techniques for taking samples from surfaces, liquids and gas for detecting virus particles. It further includes methods and instruments for taking biological samples, in particular saliva or sputum (combination of the CPC classes A61B10 and A61B10/0051 with keywords related to (corona) virus), and the separation or trapping of (corona) virus with ultrafiltration membranes (combination of the CPC subgroup B01D61/145 with several keyword related to (corona) virus).

Devices to analyse samples

This section includes devices for analysis of the samples and for supporting diagnostics. This includes apparatus and methods for the automation of the detection of viruses, specific laboratory and point of care devices useful in the detection of coronaviruses using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunoassays and/or spectrometry. The focus is on the device specifics rather than the chemistry or sensors used for the detection.

Point of care devices, or "lab-on-a-chip", or digital microfluidics use small containers into which the sample is introduced in the field or at home.

For polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods to amplify nucleic acid molecules it is in general necessary to cycle the sample between three different temperatures, for these methods so-called thermocyclers are used.

Methods and devices for optical analysis (G01N21) of blood samples for direct imaging or detecting coronaviruses often involve fluorescence techniques, wherein the samples are excited by light of specific wavelengths and their fluorescent response is analysed to determine the presence and specific type of viruses. 


The following queries relate to the usage of microscopy in the context of the new coronavirus and related diseases. They are useful for in vitro analysis including diagnosis. Special queries are provided for using fluorescence and excitation of samples and tissues by ultraviolet light. 

In vivo analysis

Imaging, tomography, x-ray, ultrasound and endoscopy

The following section relates to medical in vivo imaging, in particular of cardiovascular or pulmonary tissues, which are most heavily affected by COVID-19. This includes X-ray and ultrasound technologies by either using apparatus for radiation diagnostic (CPC group A61B6), or by the use of ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves (CPC group A61B8), as well as instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior cavities of a patient's body by visual or photographic inspection (CPC group A61B1).

Diagnostic medical devices

This section relates to diagnostic medical devices (CPC group A61B5) which detect the most common symptoms of SARS-CoV-2, either specifically in the context of virus detection, or in the context of so-called remote monitoring, which allows for symptom detection of individuals or large groups for instance when they are quarantined.

This section further includes search statements directed to instruments for auscultation (e.g. stethoscopes), in particular for detecting lung or respiration noise in the context of coronaviruses.

Image processing

This section includes computer-implemented imaging technologies that support clinicians in performing medical diagnoses of patients.

Patent analytics gives a deeper dive into the patent landscape. Our patent analysts have created a spreadsheet containing all the search strategies and datasets for patents for protein and nucleic acid assays as well as additional statistics in one place for you to download. You can also run the search strategies on your own platform or analyse the datasets yourself. If you are not familiar with how to write or adapt search strategies, our Espacenet pocket guide will help.

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