Detecting aersolized SARS-CoV-2
COVID-19 is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; CoV-2) which is transmitted human-to-human primarily by aerosols. Detecting the virus rapidly and in real-time could slow the spread of the disease. We are developing an electrochemical, antibody-based biosensor to detect aerosolized CoV-2 that will be deployed in 1) a breathalyzer for real-time diagnostics and 2) an environmental detector for real-time, continuous measurement of sampled air. The biosensor is based on our micro-immunoelectrode (MIE) technology, originally developed to detect amyloid-beta peptide in the setting of Alzheimer’s disease. The MIEs are ultra-sensitive, highly selective, and provide instant responses. We are working with Dr. Rajan Chakrabarty, in the School of Engineering, who is an aerosol expert. His group is building the actual aerosol sampling device, plus they have unique capabilities of mimicking real-world environmental conditions, especially in the context of atmospheric aerosols, necessary for testing and optimizing the biosensor’s performance for field deployment.