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Novel Coronavirus Breathalyzer Test Detects COVID-19 Non-Invasively in Seconds

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Aug 2020
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Novel Coronavirus Breathalyzer Test Detects COVID-19 Non-Invasively in Seconds (Photo courtesy of Technion)
Novel Coronavirus Breathalyzer Test Detects COVID-19 Non-Invasively in Seconds (Photo courtesy of Technion)
A novel breathalyzer uses intelligent nanotechnology that is capable of rapidly detecting COVID-19 in exhaled breath and has “the potential to serve as a monitoring and epidemic control tool.”

A team of scientists from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa, Israel) and Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (Haifa, Israel), in collaboration with Chinese researchers, has devised a novel breath analyzer test to rapidly detect the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The testing device is an intelligent nanotechnology that can rapidly detect COVID-19 from specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath.

The efficacy of the COVID-19 breath analyzer testing device, which is comprised of a nanomaterial-based sensor array, was successfully validated in March by a preliminary case-control clinical study in China. It can detect disease-specific biomarkers in exhaled breath with 92% accuracy, 100% sensitivity, and 84% specificity. While a larger cohort study is still needed to validate the results, the researchers envision the test’s utility as a screening tool for airports, shopping centers, and other public places where the risk of community spread is high.

The pre-screening diagnostic system could offer a screening solution that can be performed at home or point-of-care facilities, greatly reducing unneeded confirmatory tests and reducing the burden on hospitals. Importantly, the artificial intelligence of the device can be modified and applied to any other infectious diseases. The researchers believe that this approach can serve as a platform for a rapidly available diagnostic tool that can be used in the case of a new disease outbreak.

Related Links:
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute



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