Your smartphone could detect Covid-19 infections using this sensor

BY admin May 21, 2020 Health ، Science 6 views

In addition to there not being enough tests to go around, the procedure to check for Covid-19 has been called invasive and uncomfortable–it involves a swab being used to collect mucus from the back of a person’s nasal cavity and throat.

Forward-looking: A shortage of testing kits has been a significant problem for several countries trying to track and trace the spread of Covid-19, but a new project could produce a smartphone-powered sensor that detects the virus by blowing on it.

In addition to there not being enough tests to go around, the procedure to check for Covid-19 has been called invasive and uncomfortable–it involves a swab being used to collect mucus from the back of a person’s nasal cavity and throat.

A team from the University of Utah is working on a project that could make tracking the pandemic a lot easier and testing much more comfortable. It involves repurposing a sensor that was originally created to detect the Zika virus back in 2016.

“We started this project around 12 months ago,” said Professor Massood Tabib-Azar. “The main idea was to enable people to have their own personal sensor to detect Zika in places that they travel. The plan is to program it to identify Covid-19 instead.”

20200522.Your-smartphone-could-detect-Covid-19-infections-using-this-sensor-01.jpg

The prototype device is about an inch wide, connecting to a smartphone via Bluetooth and drawing power from the charging port. It’s then simply a matter of placing a microscopic particle of saliva onto it, either by blowing, coughing, breathing, or sneezing. Users could also test for the virus on an object’s surface by brushing it with a swab then placing the sample on the sensor.

Should Covid-19 be present, single-strand DNA called aptamers in the sensor bind to its proteins, and the electrical resistance produces a positive result, which could then be sent to authorities who are tracking the spread.

The sensor can be used more than once, thanks to a small electrical current that destroys previous samples, and it should cost consumers around $55. Clinical trials are expected to begin in July, and the device could be available to the public as soon as August.

Comments

write your comment.

Your email address will not be published.