February 26, 2024

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Detecting COVID could get a lot easier

Detecting COVID could get a lot easier

Researchers have developed a portable device the size of a microwave that can determine if COVID is present in room air within five minutes, according to reports. Science News. The new tool described in nature It is like an air quality monitor and can detect the airborne virus in real time. It uses an air sampler and a finely tuned sensor to identify the virus. One current drawback is that it is quite loud, like a vacuum cleaner, which means it may not be practical to work continuously in a classroom, for example. The other thing is that they are very expensive, costing nearly $2,000 to build the device in a lab. But the prototype works with time It reported that it was 77% to 83% accurate at sniffing out COVID.

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Study co-author John Cirrito of Washington University in St press release. “The idea with this device is that you can tell if there is live virus in the air in real time, or every 5 minutes.” One potential future use: Installing it in a building’s ductwork to monitor entire floors, or perhaps an entire building if it’s small enough. The researchers took a biosensor previously developed to detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease and modified it to recognize spike proteins characteristic of the coronavirus in the air. The same team is working on a device that might be able to similarly detect influenza, RSV, and other pathogens. (Read more coronavirus stories.)