Photonic Device for the Detection of COVID‑19 virus as a Point of Care Diagnostic Tool

Das, Gautam | $44,562

Ontario Lakehead University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

The proposed research aims to develop a device that will address one of the biggest challenges of the COVID‑19 Pandemic: early, convenient detection. Existing clinical methods for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, lack speed and sensitivity and, most importantly, currently can’t be applied as a point of care (PoC) resource or used as a bedside device in a hospital setting. Thus, finding a solution to increase the sensitivity of clinical PoC biosensing technology is critical. The proposed research will develop a portable, cost-effective device, which will not need highly trained laboratory technicians and will be an ideal candidate for a PoC medical diagnostic tool.

The successful development of the device will make it possible to detect viruses, assisting in early diagnosis. The device will also be capable of identifying the presence of other chemicals, such as proteins, in blood serum, which broadens the range of its eventual clinical uses.

This project will provide interdisciplinary applied research training to one graduate student and one Post-Doctoral Fellow, who will gain experience in developing instruments in the area of photonics, thereby increasing Canada’s human resource capacity in areas of highly technical research. Further, the student will receive interdisciplinary training in the areas of laser physics (photonics), spectroscopic analysis, and biochemistry.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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