WLWT: UC researchers develop virus detection kits

UC student Amy Drexelius designed a saliva test to diagnose viruses

WLWT News 5 talked to University of Cincinnati student Amy Drexelius about her research to develop a home test that uses saliva to diagnose viruses like influenza and coronavirus.

Drexelius, a graduate student in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a device that could make home testing for viruses quick and easy.

"The idea is you take a fluid sample at home or your doctor's office and test it right then and there and get results in minutes," she told WLWT.

"You can buy the device, test yourself at home and not have to worry about quarantining multiple days waiting for results," she said.

Drexelius also spoke to FOX19 about her work. She told FOX19 that saliva carries less virus than other biofluids so the sample must be concentrated before it is tested. Her work on influenza was fortuitous at the start of a global viral pandemic, she said.

"Once we figured out that coronavirus is a very similar virus to influenza, we were happy to figure out it would work for coronavirus as well," she told FOX19.

Drexelius studied mechanical engineering during her undergraduate studies. For her PhD, she joined UC professor Jason Heikenfeld's Novel Device Lab, where she began studying pre-concentration technology.

Read more on Drexelius' work at the Novel Device Lab.

Featured image at top: UC student Amy Drexelius designs devices to diagnose disease, monitor health or improve fitness in UC's Novel Device Lab. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

Assistant Vice president Jason Heikenfeld, PhD shown here in his office and labs at Rhodes Hall. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

UC student Amy Drexelius, seen here in 2019, is developing new point-of-care testing devices in UC's Novel Device Lab. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

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