Texas Tech Professor Wins DOD Grant For Indoor COVID-19 Detector

March 9, 2021
Chemical Engineering Professor Gerardine Botte receives a $999,047 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to work on the project.

Gerardine Botte

Could a COVID-19 detector soon become as prevalent in homes as a carbon monoxide detector? Perhaps, if Texas Tech University Professor Gerardine Botte’s research is successful. The chemical engineering professor received a $999,047 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study if the same technology could be used to detect dangerous and potentially deadly pathogens like COVID-19, according to the university.

Botte has reportedly developed a sensor that can detect the passing of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva and water. With the grant, Botte hopes to develop a prototype that can be tested for determining the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in air. Knowing if COVID-19 has been detected in a building can help mitigate the spread, according to the university. The DARPA grant is an accelerated, year-and-a-half program. Botte expects to have results by August 2022.

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