ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A research team at SUNY Polytechnic Institute is working on a COVID-19 test that does more than just tell you if you have the virus.
Dr. Scott Tenenbaum, Head of Nanobioscience is working on it with Empire Innovation Professor Dr. Nate Cady.
“This is a nano-based technology. The nano part is actual the surface of this cool little chip that Nate actually fabricates,” Dr. Tenenbaum explained.
The surface fabrication allows them to identify things with a lot more sensitivity than your standard diagnostic test.
“Nate is using the technology to look at the immune response, so he’s tracking antibodies,” Dr. Tenenbaum said.
Dr. Tenenbaum detects the viral genomic material, so together, they can simultaneously detect whether you’re infected and how well you’re making an immune response.
“It’s as much [of] a technology that could be used to gather information to understand better how this virus is causing the spectrum of symptoms that it’s causing,” Dr. Tenenbaum said, “so it’s more information than a simple, ‘you’re positive.’”
By measuring the level of antibodies in a patient’s blood, the test could provide an estimate of how long it has been since they were infected and what stage of recovery they may be experiencing.
Dr. Tenenbaum is grateful to Dr. Cady, the rest of the research team including Frank Doyle and Zach Wurz, as well as their partners Ciencia Inc. and the Wadsworth Center. He says while all of SUNY Poly’s research is important, it’s especially rewarding to be helping out during this global health crisis.
“We’re in a lucky enough position to apply our research to this in real time,” Dr. Tenenbaum said.