Adapting Maxwellian’s surface plasmon resonance optical sensor platform for COVID detection
To control and thwart the COVID19 pandemic, significant efforts are being deployed to adapt existing diagnostic tests, including those that use the standard reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method, to detect the SARS-COV-2 virus. Despite its high sensitivity and ability to detect small virus amounts in samples, RT-PCR is time consuming and subject to diagnostic errors (false positives and false negatives). Capitalizing on their respective complementary expertise, Prof. Rosei’s team at INRS and Maxwellian decided to join efforts to develop a technology for antimicrobial sensing and specifically SARS-COV-2 detection. In particular, the MITACS intern will play a crucial role in adapting Maxwellian’s existing sensing technology for this purpose. Maxwellian brings its core expertise in optical fiber sensors and its technology based on photonic-plasmonic resonators to synergistically combine it with nanomaterials and processes developed in Prof. Rosei’s team. This multidisciplinary project will provide advanced training in the areas of nanomaterial-based devices, optical sensors and data analysis which are relevant in the high-tech photonics sector.