Filipino-American professor wins national competition for saliva-based ‘clip-cam technology’ that can detect COVID-19

Image via the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine | Facebook, Image via UF Innovate Tech Licensing | Facebook
  • A Filipino-American professor in Florida wins big in a competition that aims to produce non-invasive, handheld digital platforms to detect certain diseases
  • He and his collaborators invented the “clip-cam technology” that can detect not just malaria and anemia but also COVID-19 using saliva
  • The device can be self-administered without any medical or professional help

The future test in COVID detection could be through your saliva and it is invented by a Filipino-American professor and his team of researchers.

Image via UF Innovate Tech Licensing | Facebook

Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan, a University of Florida (UF) professor and his collaborators, bagged the second prize in a technology competition sponsored by the National Health Institute Technology Accelerator Challenge (NTAC). The competition aims to produce non-invasive, handheld digital platforms to detect sickle cell disease (SCD), malaria, and anemia.

Dinglasan’s team invented a smartphone-based, rapid saliva test that can detect COVID-19 as well as malaria and anemia. They innovated a “clip-cam technology” wherein “an adapter is attached to a smartphone that allows for a detection cassette to be inserted into a slot. The camera flash is used to excite the detection system in the cassette, which can then be read by a smartphone app. The results are expected within 15 minutes or less.

Company CEO Bala Raja, Ph.D. of Luminostics, a start-up company based in California, partnered with Dinglasan for the challenge.

Image via University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine | Facebook

Raja said to UF Health, “I thought there would be great synergy between his group’s biomarker discovery skills and our platform for rapid diagnostics.

“We will leverage our leading-edge CLIP platform for the sensitive detection of the novel coronavirus as well as established protein and serological salivary biomarkers for malaria, anemia and COVID-19” Dinglasan said in an article by UF Health.

The test can be self-administered, without the assistance of any healthcare professional and no laboratory needed.

His team will receive $200,000. The total competition prize is worth $1 million.

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