Scientists in Spain’s Andalucía Work to Develop a Portable Coronavirus Scanner to Detect The Virus on Surfaces

Image of passengers at the airport. Credit: IR Stone/Shutterstock

The National Police in Spain announced that they have joined a project organised by various Andalucian organisations which allows the coronavirus to be ‘seen’ on an array of different surfaces. They estimate this this advance will be helpful in containing the pandemic and preventing the spread of new infections.

This initiative has been financed under the coordination of the Carlos III Health Institute under the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The prototype will allow for a precise detection of the coronavirus on contaminated surfaces. This proposal was presented by a group of researchers who belong to several different institutions based in Andalucia and it aims to detect the SARS-CoV virus-2 on different surfaces and materials by using existing optical technologies and Artificial Intelligence.

According to the scientists involved in the project, they hope to get their first results in amount three months, although the research has an approximately 8 month-long trajectory. The group will openly publish the scientific result obtained during the course of the research, as well as make the designs and devices public knowledge to enable their use and improvement by the international scientific community.

Given that, currently, there are no detection or visualization methods for the presence of the virus on surfaces, the objective is to develop a portable prototype, which combines multispectral image reading systems. Both in the optical range (from ultraviolet to thermal infrared) and in the terahertz range, which includes methods of analysis using computational optics and Artificial Intelligence (machine learning).

This technological and scientific advance in the fight against the coronavirus crisis would allow for the quick and non-contact analysis of contaminated surfaces by generating spatial distribution maps of these images in the viewing screen of the device.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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