A 5-cent sensor could detect the coronavirus in 10 minutes at home

One of the hardest parts of controlling COVID-19 is that it’s very difficult to know if you or someone you know is carrying it asymptomatically. So you might let your guard down, spend time in close proximity to someone else, and help it spread. Testing is useful to curb this issue, but the wait on a test result can still take days. So it’s difficult to say for sure, at any given moment, if you actually have COVID-19 or not.

A new device being developed at Caltech, dubbed the SARS-CoV-2 RapidPlex, could put this uncertainty to an end. It’s a SARS-CoV-2 sensor that’s being designed for use at home. When it comes into contact with a drop of blood or saliva, it can determine if you’re infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a mere 10 minutes. The results of the test could be beamed right to your phone over Bluetooth.


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