Dangerous viruses in the air can now be found in the field

Scientists have created an integrated platform for sampling and monitoring airborne viruses. The development enables rapid and selective diagnosis of airborne viruses using disposable sampling kits.

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have developed technology that, in the field, can immediately detect certain airborne viruses.

Typically, air testing for dangerous bacteria, fungi, and viruses require collecting an air sample and performing separate laboratory analyses. The entire analysis process can take from several hours to several days.

A joint research team between KIST and GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) has developed an integrated sampling platform that easily uses a disposable kit to collect and detect airborne viruses. The disposable kit is the same as the pregnancy test kit. It allows for both sampling and on-site diagnosis of airborne viruses. Collecting and analyzing samples takes 50 minutes – 10 to 30 minutes for sampling and 20 minutes for diagnostics.

The developed monitoring platform collects and concentrates the airborne virus on a porous fiberglass pad, and then the virus is directed by capillary force to the detection area.

“This platform supports immediate analysis of a sample collected in the field and can be implemented as an indoor air pollution monitoring system to diagnose airborne biological hazards such as the COVID-19 virus,” concludes Dr. Junseok Lee from KIST.

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