Breathe and wait five minutes for an accurate result. That’s the experience that imec aims for with its COVID-19 testing tool.
Testing, testing, testing. From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been clear what’s one of the most effective routes towards a normal life. So why aren’t we there yet?
Widespread, daily testing is essential for assessing the spread of the pandemic. And by quickly identifying and isolating contagious colleagues, customers, concert-goers, ... we should be able to limit its economic and social impact.
But especially when it comes to that second objective, current testing methods fall short. With its coronavirus breathalyzer, imec aims to remedy those shortcomings and introduce fast, easy and accurate identification of COVID-19 spreaders.
The novel coronavirus is only contagious for a relatively short period of time – mostly before the patient develops symptoms. That makes it a challenge to identify spreaders of the disease.
Current testing methods can’t adequately ascertain whether someone can pass on the virus:
Current test methods come with other drawbacks as well. The nasal swabs used for PCR and rapid antigen tests are experienced as uncomfortable to say the least. And PCR and serological tests need to be administered by medical personnel.
Imec leverages silicon chip technology to develop a new testing approach. We’re working on a breathalyzer that detects COVID-19 viral particles that are contained in aerosols and droplets.
This solution will consist of:
After no more than five minutes, the test results are provided through the cloud.
Explore this article for more details about imec’s coronavirus breathalyzer.
Imec’s coronavirus breathalyzer concept is currently being tested in a clinical study with our partner UZ Leuven. By summer 2021, imec intends to test a functional prototype at Brussels Airport.
Because this solution is based on standard chip technology, it’s mass-producible. It can be quickly made accessible in unlimited amounts to fight the human and economic effects of COVID-19 – and of future pandemics that spread via exhaled particles.
Want to get involved in this project? Feel free reach out.