How it Works:
ITI faculty affiliate Xiaodong Wu collaborated with Weiyu Xu and Raghuraman Mudumbai, associate professors in electrical and computer engineering, to win a $149,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop low-cost, high-volume COVID-19 testing technology. With help from graduate student Jirong Yi, 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 COVID-19 virus and antibody testing.
Preliminary results show that this method can potentially provide ten or even more folds of speedup compared with current testing technologies. The basic idea is to test the quantity/presence of virus/antibody in mathematically well-designed mixed samples—using, for example, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines—and to use signal processing algorithms to infer the infectious status of each person.
Behind the Research:
Xiaodong Wu, PhD
Director, Xiaodong Wu Research Group
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Professor Wu's research interests are primarily in biomedical computing and computer algorithms, with an emphasis on the development and implementation of efficient algorithms for solving problems that arise in computer-assisted medical diagnosis and treatment, biomedical image analysis, and bioinformatics.
Professor Wu's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society, and the University of Iowa. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and the NIH K25 Career Development Award.