Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Covid-19 Severity Detector

PostedJuly 10, 2020

Lede: Researchers are working on a way to predict when symptoms from the novel coronavirus might turn dangerous.

Randy Atkins: The idea, still in development, is to give COVID-19 patients a wearable device that provides real-time data tracking development of a deadly so-called cytokine storm. Lili Deligianni, a Columbia University engineering professor, is coating a transistor with an element that attaches to cytokine inflammation biomarker proteins.

Lili Deligianni: The bio-recognition element can recognize this specific protein and can really grab it. When this happens, we can detect a change.

Randy Atkins: Cytokine biomarkers boost up in patients about to have a dangerous inflammatory response and the device would show how much of them are present.

Lili Deligianni: Being able to predict the onset of disease severity can be really very important.

Randy Atkins: Because patients can then be more quickly given drugs that suppress an overactive immune system. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.