Zen provides graphene for COVID-19 test
2D material for diagnostic research at University of Ottawa Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – June 10, 2020
Last updated 6/27/2020 at 6:33am
Graphene's ability to kill viruses has captured headlines as companies look to add it to face masks, sporting equipment, paints and numerous other products aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19. Now, it seems this 2D carbon material may also have a role to play in advanced detection of the disease.
University of Ottawa Professor Maxim Berezovski, head of the Berezovski Research Group, is developing a dual detection testing method that can be performed in two hours and will be much more specific than current tests that only detect viral RNA.
With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a C$400,000 grant from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Berezovski's research into a rapid, ultrasensitive, and low-cost COVID-19 diagnostic test has been advancing at a swift pace.
To continue his work, however, the Ottawa professor needs some graphene. Zen Graphene Solutions Ltd. Is providing this graphene from its Guelph facility in Ontario, which hosts a pilot plant to produce Albany Pure TM graphene from graphite at the company's graphite deposit.
"It is an honor for Zen to support the work of Professor Berezovski and his international team in their quest for a novel diagnostic test of COVID-19," said Zen Graphene Solutions CEO Francis Dubé. "Graphene is a technology enabler and Zen is focused on the innovations that graphene can bring including in biomedical applications and we welcome inquiries from all industries."
Zen has also partnered with University of Guelph Chemistry Professor Aicheng Chen, who was awarded a C$50,000 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grant for a proposal titled, "Development of Advanced Graphene-Based Antiviral Nanocomposites against COVID-19." Zen will be providing an in-kind contribution of C$26,700 in materials, staff salaries and access to its Guelph facility.
Additionally, Zen continues development of a potential virucidal graphene oxide-based ink that could be applied to fabrics, including N95 face masks and other personal protective equipment for significantly increased protection.
Zen has discontinued its collaboration with Graphene Composites Ltd. and has produced two batches of samples using different formulations now being tested at a biosafety lab at Western University in Ontario.