Gouma research group developing breathalyzer to detect COVID-19

mhuson Discovery Themes Initiative, General

A research group led by professor Perena Gouma at The Ohio State University is developing an inexpensive breathalyzer device to detect COVID-19 in a single breath.


The hand-held breath monitor will sample an exhaled breath for two key biomarkers of the infection. The tool is expected to not only enable early detection of COVID-19, but offer insight to the disease’s progression, Gouma said.


“We are fortunate at Ohio State to have a College of Veterinary Medicine with vast experience with zoonoses that are transmitted to humans,” she said. “I have been collaborating with Dr. Andrew Bowman to carry out animal studies — collecting breath samples from swine infected with influenza and beta-coronaviruses — to validate the device before we deploy it to humans.”


Gouma, who directs Ohio State’s Advanced Ceramics Research Laboratory, joined the university through the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme, operated by the Institute for Materials Research (IMR). She is the Edward Orton, Jr. Chair in Ceramic Engineering and has a joint appointment as professor in the departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.


Gouma’s development builds on her invention of a hand-held breath monitor that can detect the flu virus, which she developed at the University of Texas at Arlington. Watch a video about the flu virus detector below.


Visit the College of Engineering website to read more about faculty and staff efforts to fight COVID-19.



Feature image credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Story by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations

Contact: huson.4@osu.edu

Follow: @OhioStateIMR | @IITB_OSU_FC