Biodegradable cellulose COVID-19 antibody test, orange peel waste recovers precious metals, biobased fabrics and more: The Digest’s Top 8 Innovations for the week of September 3rd

September 2, 2020 |

#1 Biodegradable COVID test addresses pandemic waste concerns

In Mexico, student Fernando Sánchez has designed a biodegradable test for COVID-19 antibodies as his final-year project at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

“Each test is made of cellulose and contains no plastic, fiberglass, or nitrocellulose, elements found in almost all single-use diagnostics. It can be disintegrated in wastewater and is safe for most plumbing systems, even those with septic systems,” Sánchez tells Yanko Design. “The test can biodegrade in the soil in less than 10 weeks, just like a banana peel.”

The testing kit uses a nanoparticle-based immunochromatographic test to detect COVID-19 antibodies in blood, serum or plasma. Results take just 8 minutes. To view their status, users are required to upload the results using an app and QR code provided on test packaging.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply increased the generation of medical waste, as health workers and consumers alike drive demand for masks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment. Widespread testing for COVID-19 infection—seen by public health authorities as the cornerstone to controlling the pandemic—has also generated significant amounts of waste.

More on the story, here.

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