Geiss, Henry and professor David Dandy teamed up with students long before COVID-19 became a pandemic to create their testing device. The original device was designed to test a wide array of viruses and infections in both humans and plants.
However, when COVID-19 became a global crisis the team turned their focus to applying their device to the fight against coronavirus.
“You would put (a sample) in to the device, and the device would do all the chemistry and microbiology,” Henry said. “And, at the end there would be a readout directly on the device, or on your smartphone, that would tell you (if you are) positive.”
In an effort to expedite the return of coronavirus testing results, Colorado State University researchers in Fort Collins have developed a product which would mimic the convenience of a take-home pregnancy test. While the test doesn’t use urine to sample, researchers say results with their device would be returned to a test user within 30 minutes after a sample of blood, saliva or a nasal swab were placed in the device.
“We’ve done a lot of work trying to make the test as user friendly, as well as accurate, as we possibly can,” said Brian Geiss, associate professor at CSU.
“This is the same thing the kind of gold standard tests run today,” said Chuck Henry, professor of chemistry at CSU.
The team said a different variation of the testing device would also be able to easily test for antibodies for COVID-19.
“A lot of work has gone in to this,” Henry told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
The device is not ready for mass production… yet. The team hoped to have more testing and trials completed through the end of the year. While the immediate goal is to accurately apply the testing device to COVID-19, the team said they also look forward to applying their technology to the battle against other viruses and infections throughout the world, including in plants.
“We think that this is going to be useful much longer term than just the current pandemic,” Geiss said.