Face-Mask Sensor That Detects COVID-19 Developed at UC San Diego

It comes in the form of a color-changing sticker that adheres to any mask and would confirm if you have or have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. UCSD representatives hope to have prototypes ready for approval this summer and ready for use by the end of 2021, with an estimate cost of $1 each.

A team of researchers lead by Jesse Jokerst, professor of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering developed the sensor, which will now have $1.3 million dollars for research and development from the National Institutes of Health.

This new tool practical tool for monitoring COVID-19 detects SARS-CoV-2 in a user’s breath or saliva. “In many ways, masks are the perfect ‘wearable’ sensor for our current world,” said Jokerst. “We’re taking what many people are already wearing and repurposing them, so we can quickly and easily identify new infections and protect vulnerable communities.”

Jokerst explained to San Diego's NBC 7/39, “Just imagine you would have a roll of stickers. And as you head out in the day you put one of these on, you would breathe through it. And at the end of the day you click a little blister pack and if the liquid changes colors that means you need to take some more action."

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