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Wearable Sensor Detects COVID

A new strip that tests for COVID proteases can be added to face masks.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a visual indicator for people infected with COVID? According to a recent Medgadget article, that concept may not be too far fetched. Researchers at UCSD developed a wearable sensor that attaches to a face mask and detects the COVID-19 virus. Specifically, it detects the presence of proteases, which are exhaled by those who are infected.

The sensor is similar to a pregnancy test and has a small blister pack compartment. The surface of the strip gathers particles from the wearer’s breath, and when they want to initiate the test, they squeeze the blister pack to release reactive nanoparticles. If the virus is present (via proteases), the sensor will change color. The team behind the test strips believe they can be produced for just a few cents.

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