CSIR-IIR Scientist invents bacteria, virus detecting device

A scientist with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Eric Ashalley, has invented a biosensing device that detects and categorises various bacteria and viruses, including SARS COV-2 (COVID-19 virus).

The United States Patent Office has subsequently awarded the nanoscience and technology research scientist, who works with the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR) of CSIR, a patent, granting him ownership of the device.



Currently, CSIR is looking at channels to locally manufacture this device to augment the government’s effort in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic since the accuracy of the device to detect the COVID-19 virus is 99.87 per cent.

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The patent document issued by the Patent Office in December last year has been published online with additional details published in the prestigious Photonics Research Journal.

Shedding light on his invention in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, Dr Ashalley said the device detects and categorises different types of bacteria and viruses using light-matter interaction.

Unlike the conventional bacteria and virus testing kits currently in existence, he said the device is reusable under a guided environment with display, and is capable of distinguishing between the various Covid variants towards effective and efficient diagnosis.

“The invention of this device brings testing and diagnosis to the doorstep of the citizenry. It is a portable device that is easily useable and it is compatible with smart phones and wearables,” he said.

For speed, Dr Ashalley said it uses light for processing so results can be achieved within an ultrafast period, while for size, the main components of the device are at the nanoscale, making it very portable.

He explained that the design and realisation of this device made use of advanced artificial intelligence-based nanophotonic concepts, bridging the fields of computer science and nanotechnology.

“This device has an extended significance beyond this Covid era, with its ability to sense and detect other nucleotide such as a cDNA and/or a protein such as a protein from a pathogen”, he said.

Dr Ashalley said the invention was achieved collaboratively between himself and the University of North Texas-USA led by Prof. Arup Neogi.

The inventor, Dr Ashalley, is a well-published young Ghanaian Nanoscience and Technology research scientist with vast experience in plasmonic metamaterials research.

He received his Masters and PhD degrees from the Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences (IFFS) at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), in 2014 and 2018 respectively, both in Nanoscience and Technology.

He has professional membership with IEEE, Optica and the Royal Society of Chemistry – UK. Dr Ashalley is also the founder and CEO of RGlobal-worldwide; a multidisciplinary research institute.

He has two years of postdoctoral research experience jointly with the University of North Texas-USA and UESTC-China in 2021, and currently working with the Institute for Industrial Research under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-IIR).

His research interests include machine-learning-based nanophotonic systems design and optimisation, optical neural networks, chiral plasmonics and integrated intelligent nanophotonic devices.

Source: ghanian times

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