UCLA Team to Develop Breathalyzer-Like Diagnostic Test for COVID-19


Reading time ( words)

Matthew Chin | UCLA Newsroom

A research team led by Pirouz Kavehpour, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, is developing an inexpensive and fast Breathalyzer-like diagnostic tool to test for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a critical weakness in health care security infrastructure, which is a substantial deficiency in our capabilities to conduct rapid, simple, point-of-care diagnostic and environmental sample collection and testing,” said Kavehpour, who is the principal investigator on the research. Kavehpour’s team has received a one-year, $150,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation.

“The goal in this research is to develop cheap, massively deployable, rapid diagnostic and sentinel systems for detecting respiratory illness and airborne viral threats,” said Kavehpour, .

The design could also be altered to detect other infectious diseases and airborne viral threats by continuously monitoring the air of indoor environments, such as hospitals, schools and airports, for the presence of the dangerous levels of virus.

The concept is based on an environmental water condensation technology developed by Kavehpour and his research group. They have applied for a patent for the design.

Although similar in use to Breathalyzer tests designed to check blood alcohol levels, which use infrared light to measure blood alcohol levels, the method behind the COVID-19 diagnostic test is different. For the coronavirus test, a person would exhale into the device for about a minute. Water vapor from their breath would condense on a special plate. Live virus and virus RNA could then be screened by using fluorescent genetic tags that light up if the virus is present. It could take about 10 minutes to show results.

If the design is successful and meets all federal criteria, test kits could be in production as early as fall 2020, said Kavehpour, who is also a professor of bioengineering.

Other UCLA investigators on the project include Ali Alshehri, a doctoral student in mechanical and aerospace engineering; Rob Candler, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Nasim Annabi, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; and Dr. Paul Krogstad, professor of pediatrics, pediatric infectious diseases, and molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Other members of the team are Jeff Ruberti and Sara Rouhanifard, of Northeastern University; and Jonathan Rothstein, of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Read the original article here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

What It Takes to Be a Milaero Supplier, Part 2

03/24/2020 | Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
The decision to pursue military and aerospace (milaero) certification impacts every facet of the organization, and not every shop is prepared to make this transformation. In Part 2, Anaya Vardya focuses on what it takes to be a milaero supplier in the areas of engineering and CAM.

Requirements of Being a MIL-certified Shop

11/12/2019 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
Barry Matties speaks with American Standard Circuits’ VP of Business Development David Lackey, who has nearly 40 years of experience producing PCBs for the mil/aero market. David talks about what it’s like being a MIL-certified shop and the stringent quality and reporting requirements that it entails.

Small Eye in the Sky: Special Forces Will Soon Have New Enduring ISR Option

04/29/2019 | Lockheed Martin
Combating counterinsurgency, conducting reconnaissance, collecting information vital to national security, United States Special Forces conduct some of the most sensitive and critical missions.



Copyright © 2020 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.