COVID-19 Sensor


  • Point-of-care instant diagnostics solutions for COVID-19 from a handheld device.
    • Enabled by our gas sensors for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) from the exhaled breath.
    • With wireless connectivity to smartphones and computers.
  • Point-of-care instant diagnosis of flu, substance abuse, lung cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, etc. by using our proprietary gas sensor technologies.
    • Enabled by our gas sensors for different biomarkers for different diseases from the exhaled breath.
    • With wireless connectivity to smartphones and computers.


  • State-of-the-art COVID-19 tests are slow, expensive, and insufficient.
  • More efficient COVID-19 tests needed while we deal with the re-opening of businesses, schools, etc.
  • Body temperature monitoring widely used for re-opening is inadequate.
  • The new handheld gas sensors for airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus for instant diagnosis of COVID-19 in exhaled breath.
    • Sensitivity (sub-ppq, ~83%), Accuracy (~75%).
    • Point-of-care diagnosis.
    • Fast sensor response and recovery in 1~2 seconds.
    • Minimal cost, no reagents used.
    • No need for long-term training of staff for the tests.
    • Readily adapted for diagnosis of other diseases.

On-going IRBs and Clinical Trials for COVID-19 Sensor Validation

  • Northeastern University, Boston, MA: Cross-validation of SARS-CoV-2 gas sensors.
    • Dr. Jared Auclair, Director of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
    • Dr. Nian Sun, Professor of ECE, Director of the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Integrated Ferroics.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, MA: Clinical trials.
    • Dr. Gregory Robbins, M.D., MPH, Infectious Disease Associates.
    • Dr. Jeffrey A. Gelfand, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, Senior Scientist, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, Dept. of Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Faculty, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School.
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
    • Dr. Robert Finberg, M.D., Distinguished Professor and Chair of Medicine, NIH Verification Core
  • Mount Sinai Queens Hospital Center, New York, NY
    • Dr. Ping Lu,
  • Commercial IRB at the company.

Funding and Supports

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Upstage Lung Cancer Foundation
  • Northeastern University Internal COVID-19 Funds
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research (RAPID)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Patent and Publications

  • Patent
    • New gas sensors for SARS-CoV-2 virus for instant COVID-19 tests, Nian Sun, Shadi Emam, Mehdi Nasrollahpourmotlaghzanjani, submitted.
    • Molecularly-Imprinted Electrochemical Sensors, Nian-Xiang Sun, Shadi Emam, Adam. K Ekenseair. US Patent App. 16/383,220.
  • Publication
    • Emam, S., Colarusso, B., Grant, S., Kulkarni, P., Nasrollahpour, M., Ekenseair, A., Ferris, C.F., Sun, N. Detection of volatile organic compounds from exhaled breath of APOE4 rats. Journal of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, revised.
    • Adams, J.A., Emam, S., Ma, Y., Wang, Q., Shashidhar, R., Sun., N., A Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Graphene Sensor Antenna Hybrid for Ultra Sensitive Chemical Detection, IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 19, no. 16, pp. 6571-6577, 15 Aug.15, 2019.
    • Emam, S., Adedoyin, A., Geng, X., Zaeimbashhi, M., Adams, J., Ekenseair, A., Podlaha-Murphy, E., Sun, N., A Molecularly- Imprinted Electrochemical Gas Sensor to Sense Butylated Hydroxytoluene in Air, Journal of Sensors, Volume 2018, Article ID 3437149, 1-9.
    • Emam, S., Kulkarni, P., Nasrollahpour, M., Colarusso, B., Ekenseair, A., Ferris, C., Sun, N., An Electrochemical Sensor Array for Detecting Alzheimer’s disease Biomarker VOCs, Society for Neuroscience, Chicago IL, 2019.
    • Emam, S., Sun, N., A Molecularly Imprinted Electrochemical Sensor to Detect VOCs in the Breath Print of Lung Cancer, Bulletin of the American Physical Society, Boston MA, 2019.
    • Emam, S., Sun, N., Ekenseair, A., A Molecularly Imprinted Electrochemical Gas Sensor to Sense Chemicals in Air: a Pathway to Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease from Exhaled Breath, Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Chicago IL, 2018. (Abstract published: Alzheimer’s Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 14 (7), P1549)
    • Zaeimbashi, M., Lin, H., Wang, Z., Chen, H., Emam, S., Gao, Y., Sun, N., NanoNeuroRFID: A Low Loss Brain Implantable Device Based on Magnetoelectric Antenna, 2018 IEEE International Microwave Biomedical Conference (IMBioC), 205-207.
    • Emam, S., Sun, N., Electrochemical Gas Sensor to Diagnose Alzheimer’s disease through Exhaled Breath, MRS Fall Conference, Boston MA, 2017.
    • Emam, S., Nasrollahpour, M., Allen, P.J., He, Y., Hussein, S., Podlaha, E., Ekenseair, A., Sand, J., Sun, N., A Hand-Held Device to Detect Lung Cancer Biomarkers in the Exhaled Breath, to be submitted.
    • Emam, S., Iriah, S., Kulkarni, P., Nasrollahpour, M., , Podlaha, E., Ekenseair, A., Heger, N., Magnani, B.J., Ferris, C., Sun, N.X., Part Per Quadrillion-Sensitive Wearable Device to Detect Oxycodone in Exhaled, to be submitted.