Thermos Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts-based company, known for manufacturing laboratory equipment and materials, has conducted a beta testing of an air sampler successfully.
It will help in detecting the airborne coronavirus particles.
The device is very handy. It comes in a size similar to a toaster. It is designed to suck in the ambient air and trap the airborne virus particles. If there are any infectious particles found, they are trapped in the specialized cartridge which can be sent to a laboratory for further analysis.
The company plans to make its AerosolSense Sampler publicly available soon. The device is capable of detecting a variety of airborne pathogens, including coronavirus. One can easily deploy the device in offices, hospitals, schools, and other buildings to monitor the signs of virus and other harmful germs.
The AerosolSense sampler is designed to be used easily. It draws air into the collection pipe of the device and directs it towards a replaceable, cylindrical cartridge. This cartridge is almost the size of a 10-ml syringe and contains a proprietary foam-like substance that traps the airborne particles.
The removable cartridge can be pulled out of the machine and sent to the lab for analysis. The P.C.R (polymerase chain reaction) method can be used to determine the presence of coronavirus.
Thermos Fisher has conducted the “initial feasibility testing” with a rapid P.C.R test and provided the results within 30 minutes.
The AerosolSense sampler is first of its kind to be released in the market but it is likely to face competition as the pandemic has galvanized the interests of many in this disease surveillance niche.
Health experts have claimed that they have been overwhelmed with calls and emails from different organizations and laboratories interested in developing the coronavirus-collecting air samplers.
Even the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency had claimed that it had started to solicit proposals for the research and development of a coronavirus-detecting air sensor.
Air samplers have been widely used across the world to detect different varieties of pollutants. But capturing the airborne viruses with the aid of an air sampler is a difficult task altogether.