A team of scientists led by Professor Gabby Sarusi at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has come up with a breath test that can detect the coronavirus in a minute. It's now under review by the US Food and Drug Administration and, if it passes, it will be used in hundreds of travel checkpoints around the world.
Current tests for the coronavirus involve nose or throat swabs to detect particles but the scientists decided to try something new.
“We asked ourselves, since this virus is just like a nano-particle or a quantum dot with a diameter between 100nm to 140nm in terms of its size and electrical properties, can we detect it using methods from the worlds of physics, photonics and electrical engineering?
“We discovered that the answer is yes, this virus resonates in the THz frequency, and spectroscopy in these frequencies reveals it promptly.”
From the Australian Times of Israel :
Sarusi’s team has been working with Israel’s Defence Ministry to validate the hand-held device which contains a chip with densely packed sensors to capture tiny particles from the breath, including any viruses.
The chip is then read through a THz spectroscopy, which takes about 20 seconds. Scientists look for the tell-tale changes in resonance in the THz spectral range caused by the coronavirus. Within a minute they can tell if someone is carrying the virus, even though they may be completely without symptoms.
Sarusi said the idea was for these breathalysers to be installed throughout the country at places such as at ports, workplaces and cruise ships, with each device processing breath from about 4,000 people every day.
If approved, this device could be seen in airports as early as September.