Inspiration

Idea inspired from drs Hyun-June Jang†,‡, Taein Lee†,‡, Jian Song†, Luisa Russell†, Hui Li†, Jennifer Dailey†, Peter C. Searson†, and Howard E. Katz*,† work based on field effect transistors coupled with antibodies. After this we created a bibliography folder which we supplied with constant information on the subject.

What it does

The device funnels air through a large particle filter onto an agar membrane after which a spray based PBS system detaches the probe from the agar into a small funnel where the viral particle solution enters a collection system that uses a pipetter system to place the sample on the sensing membrane so that it can attach to the viral anti S antibody embedded in it. Once the viral capsid binds to the antibody, it is sensed by a Field Effect Transistor (FET) and transduced into a changing output electrical potential. This information is digitized and read to the cloud for preventive policy making.

How I built it

Biologically sensitive field effect transistors are sensing systems which are based on microelectronics and sensing technologies. The biological recognition on the one hand, and the semiconductor field effect transduction on the other, are two completely different sciences, and for this reason their successful combination requires multidisciplinary scientific actions. It is thus a very challenging technological and scientific task. This being said at this moment our team composed of 4 medical students, 1 Electronics Engineering specialist, 1 Mechanical Engineering student and 1 Experimental Physicist has developed the following: 1) A 3D concept and design of a the final product 2) an optimization of the ventilating and capture plate system 3) an optimization of the bio sensor addressing the external gate geometry

Challenges I ran into

1) Efficient bibliography reading and fast response to issues in order to go further 2) The exact protocol to produce the sensing membrane and embed the antibodies is present challenge 3) An efficient washing system is only present as a concept at the moment, we did not have time to optimize it. 4) We did not have time to devise a plan on how to connect the device to the cloud in order to offer real time measuring

Device components :

Basic components (NOTE: the order in which they are stated here does not correspond with the order in which they are labeled in our designs)

  1. container
  2. filter
  3. high throughput ventilator
  4. air collection agar plate
  5. washing system
  6. probe collection system 6.1. dripping system
  7. biosensor

The problem our project solves

As citizens restart their lives and working habits the viral spread will be facilitated by the large number of people that get out of lockdown. In order to address the two main components of a screening test, affordability and sensibility we aimed at crushing the cost by testing the viral air load instead of testing each person individually. In this way we are aiming to determine the probability that given the viral air concentration a person can or will be infected. It is of crucial importance to take notice of the large asymptomatic incubation period in which the patient manifests close to no symptoms which makes any cost effective general testing method improbable, because of this, air sampling IS NOT a method to determine each infected person but it IS a method through which it can be appreciated the overall probability of infection. In this sense, knowing the viral air density in an office, supermarket, school, church or office is an important factor that local authorities and businesses have to know in order to have a proactive, based on real-time data, plan. Having this kind of data enables authorities to facilitate and ensure proper safety measures.

Example: a high viral air load was detected 24 hours ago in a small city local school, based on that concentration we can say that there is an 85% probability that half of the children will be infected, we are know expecting less than 50% of those unknown children to manifest symptoms (because not every patient has the symptomatic disease). Based on this assessment local authorities will have on average 14 extra days to redirect financing, staff and any other needed medical or logistic help to the local hospital, or even decide to close the school. So in this way this device takes the surprise factor out of consideration and presents a probabilistic assessment of infection risk that enables local and central government to take pre-emptive measures in order to facilitate fast and proper care.

The solution it brings to the table

The aim of our project is to generate a cost-effective air testing device in order to facilitate real-time data to local authorities and businesses. It uses a compact concept of cheap 3D printed parts that at its core has a central component composed of a biosensor (extended gate geometry sensing membrane coupled with field effect transistor/FET).

What have you done over the weekend

Over the weekend we have used intensive networking in order to find the right people for our needs, created a DropBox bibliography folder in order to have fast and easy access to of our data, we have worked intensively on device concept and optimization, we have contacted suppliers and opened a channel with prospective European institutes.

The solution’s impact to the crisis

Recent civil unrest is a proof that citizens do not feel safe and that there is a wide spread feeling of uncertainty. This device offers the opportunity to create new and fast reaction responses based on local viral air concentrations before hospitals become overwhelmed and local or state emergency budget strained or depleted and putting citizens at great risk as a result.

The necessities in order to continue the project

At this time we need to open a channel with a university or company that is willing to help us develop this project. Our best collaborator is one that knows how to: 1) work with FET 2) embed antibodies into PSMA in order to create a bio sensing membranes 3) more time in order to: - optimize the washing, collecting and pipetting system and - find the right antibody supplier

The value of your solution(s) after the crisis

Given the high mobility of this device its sensors can be adapted to detect any kind of viral or bacterial air-borne antigen, it can also work for simple particle detection (like air pollution, pathogen border control and surveillance, food safety, etc ). The real solution that this device offers is a real capacity to adapt to a crisis before it has taken place and this makes it very versatile.

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Updates

posted an update

In the last picture posted namely " Surface proteins and protocols" i have mentioned the fact that a whole document is coming out later today. The document is here faster than anticipated. You can find it by accessing the link below : SARS CoV 2 surface proteins, protocols for protein production, isolation and antibody production: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CtUwfhW4pF7RQyVOANrp4KMiZlqT_1Bfw0IKf5l8kdc/edit

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