November 2, 2020

New electronic diagnostic test sends COVID-19, other pathogen test results to smartphones

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Purdue partners with IdentifySensors to develop tests

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease at Purdue University has partnered with Cleveland-based technology firm IdentifySensors Biologics to develop a rapid diagnostic platform for detecting pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The platform technology can be easily modified to also detect influenza, Zika, dengue, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Lyme disease, mumps, measles, chickenpox and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and foodborne pathogens.

The technology is based on the work of Lia Stanciu, professor of materials engineering at Purdue, who developed the technique of identifying pathogens by their induced distinctive resistance change to electronic materials.

IdentifySensors Biologics was founded on nanosensor technology developed by its parent company, IdentifySensors Fresh Food Enterprises, to detect spoilage and specific pathogens in the food supply chain. The electronic sensors produce real-time readings of chemicals indicative of food safety that can be digitally transmitted through wireless networks to optimize food supply chains.

“This new platform technology takes pathogen testing down a completely different path than all the other diagnostic tests out there now,” said Richard Kuhn, director of Purdue’s Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease. “Our COVID-19 testing research is showing some very promising results.”

Unlike other molecular tests for COVID-19, the Biologics rapid molecular diagnostic platform automatically transmits test results to consumer smartphones and to the proper health agencies. Purdue University, with help from IdentifySensors Biologics, is researching and testing the platform to be commercialized in multiple settings, including clinics and the point-of-care.

“Purdue is doing a great job at developing the sensors for this platform,” said Gregory Hummer, MD, CEO of IdentifySensors. “We intend to commercialize this technology to be used in medical diagnostics, food safety and security, environmental monitoring and national security.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

About IdentifySensors Biologics

IdentifySensors Biologics is a Cleveland-based nanosensor company focused on developing real-time pathogen detection capabilities that can be integrated with the internet of things (IoT). The technology has expanded into multiple industries and applications, including the ability to detect bacteria and viruses. The company was founded by Gregory Hummer MD and Matthew Hummer. 

Media contact: Steve Tally, steve@purdue, @sciencewriter

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