COVID-19 and Lung Diseases: Express and Inexpensive Analysis of Exhaled Air by Nano-Volume DNP-NMR
In the time of the present coronavirus pandemic, we should all collectively react both fast and appropriately.
The Elegant Mathematics Team proposes an easy-to-use and affordable method for the detection of COVID-19 infection and other lung diseases.
The developed analyzer allows assays to be carried out in the early stages of disease,
allows the prediction of disease, and can also be used during treatment to collect additional statistics,
monitor progression, and improve the quality of treatment received.
Elegant Mathematics recently-patented technologies for the production of uniform and focused permanent magnets,
as well as for the creation of dual-band dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), make possible a new generation of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers
with nanoscale measuring range. That is, one nanomole of the substance under study is sufficient for the collection of DNP-NMR spectra and unambiguous identification.
In addition, recently-patented combined NMR and chromatography technology allows the simultaneous detection of a large number of chemicals
in a mixture whose respective concentrations are in the nanomolar range.
Fast and inexpensive testing for COVID-19 and associated lung disease is essential today. Exhaled air contains many chemical markers—small organic molecules,
usually less than 200 Da—with concentrations of 1 ppb - 100 ppm, and combinations of these markers are characteristic of particular types and stages of disease.
Indeed, chemical analysis of the air exhaled by a person is a well-established method for the determination of many diseases,
and relevant databases have been created and are publicly available.
The key problem that hinders the widespread use of this method is the low abundance of any given constituent in the mixture
of substances released into the air from a person’s lungs. For example, toluene and acetone are among the most abundant compounds in exhaled air,
but still have concentrations of only around 10 ppm. Other components are usually in the range of 1-10 ppm. Furthermore,
while there are many methods for the chemical analysis of gases, such as using metal oxide sensors, the most accurate is to use gas chromatography
in combination with mass spectroscopic detection—which method is also very expensive.
Recent developments by Elegant Mathematics company in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance, in particular the combination of NMR with chromatography and with DNP,
allowed us to create a benchtop-sized NMR device capable of conducting chemical analysis of liquid volumes up to 1 nl and gas volumes of 1 μl
at room temperature with a detection level in the nanomole range.
Elegant NMR Project proposes an easy-to-use and affordable method for the detection of COVID-19 infection and other lung diseases.
The developed analyzer allows assays to be carried out in the early stages of disease, allows the prediction of disease,
and can also be used during treatment to collect additional statistics, monitor progression, and improve the quality of treatment received.
Considering that one measurement can be performed in a period of about 10-200 seconds, and there are no additional costs for the mobile phase,
chromatographic columns, gases, etc., if the device is operated 24 hours a day for 3 years, the cost of its operation is about 10 cents per measurement.
Thus, Elegant NMR devices can be used in the place of expensive GC-MS devices for the inexpensive and rapid analysis of human exhaled air.
Such a low cost of analysis will provide for a virtually unlimited number of opportunities for conducting preventive medical testing
as well as preserving health, tuning medical treatments, and thereby saving many lives.
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