According to a recent Medgadget article, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine developed a rapid COVID-19 breathalyzer test that could transform the way we test for the virus. The test requires individuals to breathe into a device, that can detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in as little as one minute. This technology could be invaluable for screening large groups of people before indoor events or in community clinics. The system's adaptability allows for potential use in detecting other viruses, providing a crucial tool for future outbreaks.
The test involves exhaling into a device that directs the breath onto llama-derived nanobodies that specifically bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These nanobodies are connected to an ultrasensitive micro-immunoelectrode biosensor, offering rapid results if the virus is present. This breathalyzer option eliminates the need for nasal swabs and the waiting time associated with traditional home tests.