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UC San Diego Researchers Developing New Mask Sensor That Detects Covid-19

Mark Andrew

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  • University of California San Diego researchers are currently developing a test strip that helps detect Covid-19.
  • The strip is attachable to face masks and changes color as it detects the virus on the breath or saliva of a person.
  • “We can quickly and easily identify new infections and protect vulnerable communities,” said project lead Jesse Jokerst.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego are currently developing a new technology that could soon make it easier to detect Covid-19. According to reports, UCSD’s test strip, which is attachable to a face mask, has the capability of detecting the virus in a person’s breath or saliva.

The National Institutes of Health has given the university a $1.3 million fund for the project as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Radical program for Covid-19.

The test strip changes color when it detects coronavirus.

As UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering nanoengineering professor and project lead principal investigator Jesse Jokerst said:

“In many ways, masks are the perfect ‘wearable’ sensor for our current world. We’re taking what many people are already wearing and repurposing them, so we can quickly and easily identify new infections and protect vulnerable communities.”

The strip also makes Covid-19 detection much simpler and affordable, said UCSD.

As Jokerst confirmed:

“We want this to be affordable enough for daily testing.”

However, Jokerst is also quick to point out that the test strips do not intend to replace approved Covid-19 testing protocols.

“Think of this as a surveillance approach, similar to having a smoke detector in your house,” he shared. “This would just sit in the background every day and if it gets triggered, then you know there’s a problem and that’s when you would look into it with more sophisticated testing.”

Watch this video to learn more:

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