Smiths Detection’s BioFlash shown to detect airborne COVID-19

Further testing and research is underway at a number of US universities to collect more data

Following tests conducted by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Smiths Detection has announced its BioFlash biological identifier is capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the air.

The tests were done with live SARS-CoV-2 virus in a Biosafety Level 3 containment area at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The SARS-CoV-2 Canary biosensor used in the BioFlash device demonstrated it can quickly detect and identify the presence of low levels of aerosolised SARS-CoV-2.

The device is powered by Canary technology (a cell-based biosensor) and is combined with proprietary aerosol-collection techniques to identify of biological-threat agents including viruses, toxins and bacteria.

“We are working incredibly hard to provide a tool that will support the ongoing fight against the coronavirus,” said Roland Carter, President, Smiths Detection. “BioFlash is an effective and trusted environmental monitoring tool. These test results provide valuable data in understanding the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people in indoor environments such as hospitals, schools and commercial buildings.”

The tests showed the device can detect down to an estimated 6,000 airborne infectious particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within a controlled environment. This compares to as many as one million particles emitted in a single sneeze by a person infected with SARS-CoV-2. The test results also indicate no cross-reactivity with influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).