Smartphone-powered sensor could detect Covid-19 by breathing on it

midian182

Posts: 6,417   +56
Staff member

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.”

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.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,321   +4,575
We are nearing 100,000 dead from Coronavirus.
Supposedly, there is a vaccine on the way.

Realistically, I think the easiest thing we can do is monitor for symptoms.

I wish my Applewatch could take my temperature, but we have thermometers on the cheap we can use for that.

These sensors that can test for Covid19 are nice, but it will be a long time before they can go mainstream, especially when our “president “ is trying to start another trade war with the one country that could make them as in expensively as possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JKnight

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,689   +1,490
I have been listening to many pundits talking about vaccines and immunity as if it were the only real endpoint. Wouldn't we be just as well served by a treatment that greatly diminished severity of the illness? Why don't we hear more about plasma therapeutics? If the risk of the disease were as low as mild flu, how would that change things? How far are we from something like that - even if only an interim step?
 

Capaill

Posts: 1,199   +741
"The sensor can be used more than once, thanks to a small electrical current that destroys previous samples"
Electricity kills coronavirus? That's news to me. Doctors: bin the tablets and get the car batteries and nipple clamps!
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,641   +1,942
No thanks! Just another step on the road to 100% monitoring of people. "but if it saved just one life" will be the rally cry. NO THANKS! I have enough crap that is monitored. I don't need some government thug busting down my door because something triggered the monitor on my phone and they haul me off like they did thousands in China.
Just because you TEST positive for the virus, doesn't mean you will ever get sick. Herd immunity, which has protected humanity for thousands of years will end this garbage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danny101

Danny101

Posts: 1,471   +625
No thanks! Just another step on the road to 100% monitoring of people. "but if it saved just one life" will be the rally cry. NO THANKS! I have enough crap that is monitored. I don't need some government thug busting down my door because something triggered the monitor on my phone and they haul me off like they did thousands in China.
Just because you TEST positive for the virus, doesn't mean you will ever get sick. Herd immunity, which has protected humanity for thousands of years will end this garbage.
You can bet it will be served up to the nanny state, pronto.
 

Karlos95

Posts: 155   +64
F*** these mods deleting my comments. Censorship and free speech violators. Watch a law suit come