Antigen and molecular swabs 'retired'? Introduced CoronaCheck: detecting Covid in the breath
Discover Covid from the breath. It is called ‘CoronaCheck’. It is a portable device for detecting Sars-Cov-19 that could soon replace invasive antigen and molecular swabs because it can detect the presence of the virus from the exhaled air of our bodies
The technology belongs to Exhalation Technology Ltd, a British start-up company working in the biological markers sector collected in EBC (Exhaled Breath Condensate).
Exhalation Technology chose the IRCCS Maugeri in Telese Terme (Benevento) and the team of Mauro Maniscalco, head of the Operative Unit of Rehabilitation Pneumology, to carry out the testing of the device.
CoronaCheck was tested on 100 patients at the Covid Hospital in Boscotrecase (Na) of ASL Napoli 3
Maniscalco and his collaborators tested the device on 100 positive patients at the Covid Hospital in Boscotrecase (Na) of ASL Napoli 3 (head physician Francesco Stefanelli), in collaboration with the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the CNR in Pozzuoli (head physician Andrea Motta).
“The device,” explains Maniscalco, “can detect the presence or absence of the virus in the breath of subjects, both positive and negative, symptomatic and asymptomatic, through an electrochemical sensor that could soon be destined for mass production to meet global screening needs.”
The major strengths of the instrument are the sample collection and analysis speed and its non-invasiveness, ‘a test that can deliver a result in about six minutes’, as well as its ease of use, ‘as the sample requires no further laboratory practice, and the portability of the device, making it usable anywhere’.
Exhalation Technology was already collaborating with Maniscalco’s research team: last July had started a collaboration for clinical studies on a previous version of CoronaCheck, Inflammacheck©, used to measure inflammatory states of the airways by monitoring hydrogen peroxide in EBC in subjects suffering from chronic respiratory diseases (COPD, Asthma, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis, etc.).
“Due to the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” explains pulmonologist Maugeri, “the company has decided to internally modify the technology of its product to make it a rapid and effective tool for screening the virus.”