COVID-19 test is now easy and quick

2 min readAug 26, 2020

The sudden outbreak of the unknown coronavirus put everyone in a distressing situation. It took a lot of effort to manage and effectively test the patients as well as treat them at once. The medical science required considerable time to get familiar with the virus and its effects or symptoms. Additionally, the inadequate amount of testing kits and time-consuming testing technology made it very difficult initially. Being highly contagious, COVID-19 puts everyone’s lives in threat, especially the lives of the doctors, nurses, and medical staff.

However, over time the medical science studied and learned about the coronavirus to make efficient progress. It was very important to find a solution regarding the time-consuming method of COVID-19 testing. Hence, Northeastern University professor came up with a new sensor that can effectively detect the presence of coronavirus. Nian Sun, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is working on the device that can give result in real-time.

As schools and businesses intend to reopen this fall, it is clever to regularly test for coronavirus. It will help to mitigate the spread and control new waves of cases. However, the testing method in the U.S. takes around two days to produce a single result. This was insufficient technology to determine the rapid spread of the virus. Thus, Nian Sun created a gas sensor or a breathalyser that can sense different molecules in the air, including SARS-CoV-2. This device uses electrochemical sensors filled with proteins that are the same in shape and size as the coronavirus. The device with high accuracy and sensitivity catch particles from the air and reacts to the same proteins. Thereafter, if the proteins match, it sends an electrical signal indicating the presence of the virus.

Nian Sun is collaborating with Jeremy Luban, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, to test this device. They are awaiting an emergency authorisation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use it in different settings. He envisions a fruitful use of this device in schools, hospitals, or different environments with successful remote and wireless results.

Rubena Bose

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