Army Researchers to Help DARPA Develop Coronavirus Detector; Matthew Coppock Quoted

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Army Research Laboratory (ARL) will help the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) compose a bio-aerosol monitor designed to detect the coronavirus. DARPA leads an 18-month effort to develop the monitor based on a combination of different technologies, the U.S. Army said Monday.

ARL joins Georgia Tech Research Institute, the University of Georgia and Cardea Bio to prototype a system that can identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus' presence in the air. The system would produce information to help communities prevent indoor infections.

“ARL’s biodetection technology is a crucial enabler for persistent biosensing in operational environments,” said Matthew Coppock, a chemist and team leader at ARL.

His team uses Protein Catalyzed Capture agents or PCC biodetection technology, originally made by California Institute of Technology's Jim Heath Laboratory.

Coppock said PCCs mimic the mechanism through which antibodies attach. The technology also allows for rapid production, with a development period of two to three weeks.

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