Lab tests for COVID-19 require pricey equipment, and field tests aren’t globally available nor work in real-time, making it hard for health care workers in remote areas of the globe to diagnose the disease. To help, UConn researchers have invented a portable, inexpensive device that has the potential to diagnose COVID anywhere.
Getting tested for COVID-19 is easy in Connecticut, where clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies have free testing stations, and even at the height of the pandemic most people could get tested fairly quickly. But in many other parts of the world, it’s not so easy. There aren’t always labs with the right equipment nearby, and field portable tests’ results aren’t available immediately.
UConn engineering professor Bahram Javidi and biomedical engineering graduate student Timothy O’Connor had an idea for a better, easier way to test for COVID. They knew red blood cells are affected during a bout of COVID-19. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs through your bloodstream to all parts of your body, and many of the symptoms of COVID-19, including low oxygen levels and blood clots, involve red blood cells.
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Published: May 27, 2021