Medical

Face Mask Can Diagnose COVID-19

A team of researchers from Harvard  and MIT created clothing that harnesses synthetic biology to detect the wearer's exposure to toxins and pathogens. They embedded freeze-dried, synthetic biology-based sensors into flexible materials and textiles. These sensors can detect pathogens such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus and toxins such as nerve gas, creating the first programmable biohybrid garments. The team has integrated this technology into standard face masks to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a patient’s breath. The button-activated mask gives results within 90 minutes at levels of accuracy comparable to standard nucleic acid-based diagnostic tests like polymerase chain reactions (PCR).