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March 2, 2021

US Army joins DARPA-led Covid-19 sensor development programme

A team of US Army researchers has joined a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-led programme that seeks to develop a bio-aerosol monitor that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

A team of US Army researchers has joined a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-led programme that seeks to develop a bio-aerosol monitor that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

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The team includes researchers from the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Georgia Tech Research Institute, Cardea Bio and the University of Georgia.

According to DARPA, the programme aims to develop a prototype sensor that can detect SARS-CoV-2 in the air and enable the implementation of practical concepts of operation before the virus causes infection in an indoor environment.

Army chemist and team leader Dr Matthew Coppock said: “Monitoring pathogens in the environment remains a challenging area of study.

“ARL has a unique capability to design and synthesise selective biosensor recognition elements using short synthetic peptides, called Protein Catalyzed Capture agents, which mimic the attachment mechanism of antibodies.”

He added that the laboratory will deliver PCC receptors for SARS-CoV-2 produced over the past year in Covid-19 response work, for integration into the sensor hardware.

Once developed, the sensor can help in creating safer work conditions at places of employment, at school and for travel.

Coppock said: “ARL’s biodetection technology is a crucial enabler for persistent biosensing in operational environments.

“The unparalleled thermal and biological stability of the receptors will allow a significantly longer sensor shelf-life and the elimination of cold-chain shipping/storage, a necessity for performance in army working conditions.”

Notably, the US is one of the worst affected nations by the pandemic. As of 2 March, it has recorded more than 28 million cases and around 514,000 fatalities.

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COVID-19 has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities. Are you interested in actionable insights on the business challenges induced by the pandemic? GlobalData's cross-sector report analyzes the significance of this major disruptive theme across industry verticals. It provides side-by-side research of alternative datasets to present you with unique quantitative analysis of the effects of COVID-19 and how these differ across sectors. Additionally, it offers qualitative analysis of each sector and analyzes COVID-19’s impact on leading companies. Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today.
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