This miniature tracker can alert us to the presence of the Covid-19 virus in the air


  • Gadgets
  • Monday, 24 Jan 2022

The Fresh Air Clip is capable of detecting the presence of the virus responsible for Covid-19 in the air. — AFP Relaxnews

Researchers at Yale University have developed a portable tracker that can detect the presence of Covid-19 in the air.

Scientists from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) have just unveiled an air sampler that can warn its wearer of the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, in closed environments. It can determine whether a person is exposed to the virus, which can be useful for people in environments at particular risk of exposure, for instance health care facilities or public places that see considerable amounts of foot traffic, such as restaurants.

This portable device, dubbed Fresh Air Clip, can be easily clipped onto any piece of clothing. Its extremely sensitive technology is able to even detect low levels of the virus, well under the estimated infectious dose quantity. The idea is to be able to forewarn of any potential risk and alert people that they may be quickly exposed to a risk of infection.

To come up with such results, the researchers had to recreate already-existing virus detection devices in miniature form and without any energy source. In fact, the Fresh Air Clip captures fine virus-laden particles that get deposited on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface.

Initial tests were conducted with 62 people who agreed to wear the monitor for five days. In total, five of these people were exposed to the virus: four restaurant servers and one person working in a homeless shelter.

The inventors of this new tracker hope to make their discovery available to the general public as an “easy-to-use, non-invasive, and low-cost” tool in the battle against Covid-19. – AFP Relaxnews

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