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Portable detection of air borne biologically relevant viral contaminants



This proposal addresses the primarily the following aspect of the challenge

A)Detection of viral contaminants in air sample (environment /human)

B) Easily identify the state of a user’s mask (usable or unusable) by detecting viruses on the mask (for example, using chemical reaction to sense COVID-19 virus)

  • Provide visible trapping of viruses

  • Perform self-sanitizing of the mask and other /PPE's

  • Detection of Sanitization compliance

  • Background

Carbon dots (or carbon quantum dots) are small (less than 10 nm) and luminescent carbon nanoparticles with some form of surface passivation. As an emerging class of nanomaterials, carbon dots have found wide applications in medicine, bioimaging, sensing, electronic devices,and catalysis (Ref 1)Recently, nanoscale materials have emerged as promising and efficient platforms or sensing and killing microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The specific application of interest is to leverage CQDs for detection and destruction of virus on PPE”s in the context of COVID-19. The attachment of viruses into host cells is favored by multi valent interactions, the multivalent character of nanostructures with their high surface to volume ratio,allowing the attachment of several ligands, makes them well adapted to interfere with viral attachment and blocking viral entry into cells. The potential of functional carbon quantum dots (CQDs) as inhibitors of host cells infection by HCoV-229E coronavirus has already been studied 


Why not we take advantage of Functional Carbon Quantum Dots for active protection of PPE’s by SENSING and KILLING?. What cant we leverage CQD;s for environmental monitoring for detection of Viral particles?

The idea has two components

Development of CQD with tunable florescence properties that can be embedded/layered/sprayed on PPE’s

V-Quant - A hand held device to specifically detect the fluorescence on PPE’s . CQD sensors could be ultimately sensitive, and the limit of detection (LOD) for these sensors can reach the nanomolar, picomolar or even femtomolar ranges

V-QUANT working principle

Air sample from subjects or environment is drawn into the air sampler. This is passed over interface containing Viral specific CQD's. Binding of virus and Viral specific CQD occurs. This will result in change in emission pattern which will be detected by fluorescence detector integrated in the device. V-Quant is basically an air sampler with a CQD interface integrated with a Florescence analyzer. The system will be designed to eliminate any noise by way of two controls (internal,external)

We believe that the V-Quant envisioned in the proposal has the potential to combat COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in ways not imagined before. The idea can be evolved further to the testing and validation of the CQD’s. This would an interesting avenue to explore and paves way for even diagnostic detection devices using CQD’s as well. We believe that the potential advantages and application areas merit a scientific pursuit

Who will take these actions?

Strategic Partnership with air sample manufacturers to develop,validate and manufacture V-Quant

What are the projected costs?

The projected cost to prototype and demonstrate the system would be approximately 28,000 USD



The time line for prototype development is 3 months

About the author(s)

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