NIDCR-Supported RADx Awards

Radical Approaches to COVID-19 Testing and Surveillance

Microscopic view of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

NIDCR supports six grants, listed below, as part of NIH’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Radical (RADx-rad) initiative, which encourages development of nontraditional approaches to address gaps in COVID-19 testing and surveillance. The NIDCR-supported projects will explore various ways of detecting SARS-CoV-2 in saliva, including a “smart mask” that changes color when exposed to the virus and several grants to small businesses to develop a breathalyzer or other methods to rapidly and affordably detect SARS-CoV-2 in saliva or the mouth. Read the NIH press release about the new RADx-rad awards.


Validation of Smart Masks for Surveillance of COVID-19

University of California, San Diego
This project will develop a “smart mask” that changes colors when exposed to COVID-19-related proteases (Mpro and PLP proteases specific to the SARS viruses) found in saliva; the mask concentrates them from aerosolized saliva when the subject breathes and speaks. Biobank saliva samples are being leveraged to help determine the specificity of the mask. Learn more on NIH RePORTER.

A Scalable Aptamer-based Electrochemical Biosensor for Rapid Detection of SARS-Cov-2 from Saliva

mPOD, Inc.
This project will expand COVID-19 testing capabilities through a novel biosensor that will use oligonucleotide molecules called aptamers to bind to unique sites on the SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva and report the data via the mPOD Inc. mobile app. The study team hypothesizes that mPOD will improve point-of-care and over-the-counter testing capacity for COVID-19 and will further enhance tracking through a rapid, affordable, aptamer-based biosensor. Learn more on NIH RePORTER.

Designer DNA Nanostructure Based Biosensing for Rapid COVID-19 Detection and Monitoring using Saliva Sample

Atom Bioworks, Inc.
This project will develop a DNA Star aptamer-based detection system that can cheaply and readily detect SARS-CoV-2 in saliva samples. The novel DNA Star biosensing approach utilizes viruses unique expression of spatial patterns of antigens on their surfaces, facilitating multivalent binding to host cells for infection. Learn more on NIH RePORTER.

Direct Bioelectronic Detection of SARS-Cov-2 from Saliva using Single-molecule Field-effect Transistor Array

Quicksilver Biosciences, Inc.
This project will develop a new bioelectronic approach for antigen testing for COVID-19. The study will utilize DiagnostikosTM, an in-development rapid point of contact platform for direct, real- time, multiplexed, quantitative bioelectronic detection of biomolecules that employs an all-electronic detection device that functions at the single-molecule level. Learn more on NIH RePORTER.

A Multimodal Platform for Oral Screening of COVID-19

Innotech, LLC
This project will develop a multiplexed sensor platform based on nanomaterials capable of rapid simultaneous detection of multiple components of viral particles in a field applicable electrochemical device. The device has synthetic biosensors that, in a multimodal, rapid, accurate, inexpensive, field- deployable test, will detect SARS-CoV-2. Learn more on NIH RePORTER.

A SARS-CoV-2 Breathalyzer for Direct Virus Detection

Aerosol Devices, Inc
This project will develop and test a novel breathalyzer for detecting aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 directly from exhaled breath in near real-time by marrying a proven, cutting-edge aerosol sampling technology with a novel and inexpensive virus detector. Aersol Devices Inc will modify its commercial bioaerosol collector, which is used to sample from the ambient environment, to enable it to collect viruses from breath samples into a concentrated liquid sample. Learn more on NIH RePORTER.

Last Reviewed
January 2021