People: Prof. Xiaodong Wu
Mission Area: Biotechnology
A faculty affiliate for Iowa Technology Institute partnered with other scholars to win a RAPID grant through the National Science Foundation to develop a low cost, high volume testing technology for COVID-19 at a time when testing can't keep up with demand.
COVID-19 testing has been limited, but is seen as critical to understanding and controlling the spread of the virus, as well as resuming normal activity. The technology could hold potential for testing during future pandemics as well.
Xiaodong Wu, an electrical and computer engineering professor, is a co-principal investigator of the research. He partnered with Weiyu Xu, the principal investigator, and Raghu Mudumbai, also a co-principal investigator. Xu and Mudumbai are electrical and computer engineering professors. Graduate student Jirong Yi also contributed.
The team originated a new high-throughput and low-reagent-consumption method of using compressed sensing, a novel mathematical and signal processing idea, to significantly speed up testing COVID-19 virus and antibody. Preliminary results show that this method can potentially provide ten or even more folds of speedup compared with current testing technologies.
The name of the grant is "RAPID: High-Throughput and Low-Cost Testing of COVID-19 Viruses and Antibodies through Compressed Sensing and Group Testing." The $149,999 grant started on Monday and has an estimated end date of May 31, 2021.