“These ultra-thin nanomaterials generally hold the record for best sensitivity, even down to the detection of single atoms, and they can improve the ability to detect very small quantities of basically anything that needs to be sensed, whether it’s bacteria or viruses, in gas or in blood,” Akinwande explained.
The researchers believe the sensor may one day be useful for detecting other infections as well. According to Akinwande, the sensor returned test results within 10 seconds of adding a sample. Comparatively, conventional COVID-19 tests take minutes or even hours to provide results.
Through funding acquired from the National Science Foundation, the researchers are currently developing a sensor to test for COVID-19 variants, including omicron and delta, as well. The test could be adapted to include even more variants, the researchers told ACS.
The researchers presented their findings at the ACS Spring 2023 meeting, which hosted over 10,000 presentations from a wide range of scientific topics from March 26 through March 30.