A team of Yale School of Public Health researchers has developed a wearable clip that detects if a person has been exposed to COVID-19.  

Researchers at Yale School of Public Health have created a wearable clip that can identify whether or not a person has been exposed to COVID-19.

According to research published earlier this month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, the device catches virus-laden aerosols that settle on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface.

Until then, huge and expensive air sampling machines were employed to identify virus droplets in the air, often from sick individuals coughing, sneezing, speaking, and breathing.

To make air sampling more accessible, specialists from Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Public Health created the Fresh Air Clip, a 1 inch-diameter 3D-printed air sampler that takes air samples on a film within the badge-shaped device. It does not have a power supply.

“The Fresh Air Clip is a wearable device that can be used to assess exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the air. With this clip we can detect low levels of virus copies that are well below the estimated SARS-CoV-2 infectious dosage,” said the study’s lead author. Pollitt is a Yale School of Public Health assistant professor of epidemiology and a Yale chemical and environmental engineering professor.  

“We want to go a step before that and be able to start thinking about, do we need more infectious control measures in place, do we need less people in this space? Do we need more ventilation?” Godri Pollitt said. “And also thinking about if people are at a potential risk for being infected? If we detect it within the air, there’s a good chance that maybe those people are at risk and should be quarantined.”