The Gamaleya Center has developed a device that catches coronavirus in the air

By | October 2, 2020
The Gamaleya Center has developed a device that catches coronavirus in the air

The Gamaleya Center has developed a device capable of detecting up to 86 pathogens in the air, including the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, said Artem Tkachuk, head of the Laboratory of Translational Biomedicine.
“It is a device that can detect in the air environment up to 86 targets of pathogenic biological agents of completely different nature – viruses, bacteria toxins,” he said.
The device, which was created in 2015, can work automatically, without direct human involvement, in a constant 24/7 mode.
According to Tkachuk, the pathogen detection complex consists of several independent modules that can perform precise, specific analyses. Its results are comparable to those of a biological laboratory – but directly on site, without human involvement.
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The complex has a trigger device and monitors in real-time the excess of a dangerous concentration of the substance in the air. The signal can be received within a few seconds. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of the sample, which determines the specific type of pathogen.
“Since there is now an urgent need for diagnostic tools and rapid detection of such dangerous infectious diseases as SARS-CoV-2, respectively, this device we have in the near future to complete state tests and prepare for mass production,” – said the head of the laboratory.
The device will begin to be placed in the subway and airports in October, about one hundred points have been approved for installation. Now the development work is being completed, and at the end of the year it is planned to release some of the devices, said Tkachuk.
As explained by the developer, the device covers an area of at least one hundred square meters and can be connected directly to ventilation systems. This allows the complex to analyze the composition of air in large buildings or premises – for example, where there is an examination of passengers at the airport.
There are several such devices in the lineup: large, stationary (replaces 50-60 square meters of laboratory and five researchers), and compact – it fits in an ordinary suitcase.
According to Tkachuk, the production capacity allows the installation of all customers. The scientist noted that foreign colleagues were also interested in the device. The issue of deliveries is being worked out, but due to coronavirus restrictions it may be difficult to do so – “as before, a team of technicians, for example, cannot fly out quickly to install it.