Tag: Public Health

Toolbox to Study Ligand Binding for Enhanced Treatments

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a DNA toolbox that allows researchers to explore binding interactions between ligands and their respective receptors based on receptor density and arrangement. The basis for many pharmacological interactions between drugs and cells, and indeed (Read more...)

Ferrobot Swarms for Rapid Viral Testing

At the University of California Los Angeles, scientists have developed a handheld lab kit that can conduct automated pooled testing for viral diseases, including COVID-19. The technology consists of a microfluidic platform that relies on swarms of magnetic discs, which the researchers have termed “ferrobots”, to shuttle samples through (Read more...)

Micelle Technology Detects Airborne SARS-CoV-2

At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researchers have developed micelle technology that can detect minute amounts of SARS-CoV-2 in the air. This new capability could provide invaluable monitoring systems to detect viral contamination in healthcare facilities and beyond. Micelles are somewhat similar to liposomes in that they are both like (Read more...)

Flexible Sensors Measure Fit of Face Masks

Researchers at MIT have developed a sensor system that can provide data on how well a face mask fits to a wearer’s face. The protection offered by a mask is largely dependent on how well it fits the face, but at present most face masks are one-size-fits-all and most wearers are largely unaware if their […]

Neck Sensor Helps Masked Clinicians Communicate

Researchers at Pohang University of Science & Technology in South Korea developed an auditory sensor that lets people wearing face masks, such as clinicians, to communicate more easily. The device is essentially a wearable microphone that picks up the vibrations of the skin in the neck that occur when someone talks. The researchers hope that [& (Read more...)

mRNA Therapy Prevents COVID Virus Entering Cells

Scientists at Oregon State University have developed a new treatment for COVID-19. The technology is based on mRNA, which has also been put to good use in COVID-19 vaccines. However, in this instance, the delivered mRNA encodes for human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2), which is the binding site for SARS-CoV-2 on airway cells. The lipid [&h (Read more...)

DNA Nets Capture Sars-CoV-2 for Detection and Inhibition

A team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a DNA net system that can ensnare Sars-CoV-2 and bind to the notorious spike protein. The nets contain aptamers that bind the spike protein and emit an intense fluorescent signal once they’re bound together to the protein. This signal can be easily measured using [… (Read more...)

Face Mask Detects Respiratory Viruses, Alerts User

Scientists at Shanghai Tongji University in China have created a face mask that can alert the wearer to the presence of respiratory viruses in the surrounding environment, including the viruses behind COVID-19 and influenza. The mask includes aptamers, which are short sequences of DNA or RNA that can bind to protein targets. When viral particles [& (Read more...)

Surface Coating Rapidly Kills Pathogens, Lasts Months

A team at the University of Michigan has developed a coating for frequently touched surfaces that can rapidly kill a wide array of pathogens, including MRSA and SARS-CoV-2. The technology incorporates polyurethane that contains crosslinked compounds from essential oils with wide-spectrum anti-microbial action. The researchers fine-tuned the crossli (Read more...)

Point of Care Rapid PCR Test

Columbia University scientists and collaborators at Rover Diagnostics have created a rapid PCR test that can be used at the point of care. Weighing in at two pounds, the portable device can rival the sensitivity and accuracy of traditional lab-based PCR testing equipment, but providing results in as little as 23 minutes. The new device […]

Spray Coating Fights Viruses and Bacteria

Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia engineered a new spray coating for surfaces that provides long-term protection against bacterial and viral contamination. The material is intended as a long-term alternative to disinfectant sprays and combines hydrophobic properties with antimicrobial nanoparticles to reduce microbial contaminati (Read more...)

Face Mask Deactivates SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein

Researchers at the University of Kentucky created a novel membrane that can enzymatically degrade the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, rendering the virus inactive. The membrane is intended to act as an insert within face masks, providing extra protection for groups at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, such as health care staff. The researchers functional (Read more...)

Microparticle Vaccine Provides Boosters Automatically

Researchers at MIT have created a microparticle vaccine that can provide booster doses automatically. The hollow microparticles resemble a coffee cup with a lid, and are made using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), otherwise known as PLGA. The polymer breaks down over time in the body, releasing the contents of the hollow particles. By changing the co (Read more...)

Nanoparticle Vaccine for Many SARS-Like Coronaviruses

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology, better known as Caltech, have developed a nanoparticle vaccine that appears to confer broad protection against SARS-like betacoronaviruses. This includes SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the current pandemic, and SARS-CoV, which caused the original SARS pandemic in the early 2000s. The vaccine consi (Read more...)

Typhoid Detection Technique Improves Diagnostic Sensitivity

A team at the University of California Davis Health working with international collaborators have developed a new technique to detect typhoid and estimate its incidence in populations over time. The approach requires only a drop of blood from a finger prick and involves measuring levels of antibodies against two antigens: Hemolysin E (Hlye) and Sal (Read more...)

Desktop Air Curtain Blocks Infectious Aerosols

Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan have developed a desktop air curtain system that prevents aerosols, such as airborne COVID-19 particles, from passing through it. The technology improves on some existing air curtain solutions that can create turbulent flow, resulting in the escape and spread of aerosols. The desktop device contains a dedic (Read more...)

New Antimicrobial Surface for Implantable Devices

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles have created a zwitterion polymer coating for in-dwelling medical devices, such as urinary catheters, that prevents microbes from adhering and creating troublesome biofilms. Recurrent infection and biofouling are a serious problem for such devices, leading to the overuse of antibiotics and the (Read more...)

Multiplex Immunoassay for Dengue Diagnosis

Researchers at the University of Reading in the UK created a rapid multiplex immunoassay for the detection of Dengue fever. The technology, which the researchers call the Cygnus system, aims to provide improved sensitivity compared with lateral flow tests and improved convenience and speed compared with conventional lab tests. As a point-of-care de (Read more...)