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St George’s partners with ModlaPPE to develop facemask with in-built Covid test

Published: 22 April 2022


Researchers from the Institute for Infection and Immunity at St George’s, University of London have teamed up with London-based start-up, ModlaPPE, to create a wearable respiratory protective device, for earlier, less invasive, and more cost-effective detection of Covid-19.

ModlaPPE’s primary product – the reusable facemask – provides the ideal basis from which the project team can further explore the potential for integrating new diagnostics technologies.

The project team – comprising ModlaPPE design and engineering, researchers from St George’s and certain Industrial partners – will be testing whether the product can accurately capture and detect Covid-19 through exhaled breath alone, without the need for invasive swabs and additional single-use equipment.

The principles of the project could pave the way for earlier and less invasive detection of many other respiratory infections in future.

Integrating medical diagnostic detection capabilities into reusable PPE products has several major advantages:

  • Better Unit Economics
  • Earlier Detection
  • Greater (Materials) Resource Efficiency
  • Less Invasive Testing

Dr Henry Staines, lead investigator on the project, from St George’s, University of London, said: “Being able to combine our expertise in the development and evaluation of Covid-19 rapid diagnostic tests, with that of an innovative, local, eco-friendly PPE manufacturing start-up was too great an opportunity to miss.

“We are extremely excited to be working together to produce truly novel wearable diagnostics that could change the face of how we test for Covid-19 and other respiratory conditions.”

Michael Crouch, MD ModlaPPE, said; “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the team at St George’s on this project – there are huge potential benefits from integrating more efficient diagnostics into reusable PPE products, so we hope this is a first step on that journey together.”

If you are interested in exploring opportunities partnering industry and academia, you can find out more on our Enterprise and Innovation Office webpages.

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