NCSR Demokritos team among the winners of the #EUvsVirus Hackathon competition against the novel coronavirus

A team of researchers from NCSR “Demokritos” participated in the “EUvsVirus Hackathon” competition, organized by the European Commission and the European Innovation Council, on 24-26 April 2020.

More than 2,000 teams from all around the world (141 countries) with about 20,000 members took part in a marathon of solutions in the battle against the coronavirus.

The winning solutions are already being promoted by the European Innovation Council for development and utilization and will even be invited to participate in the new COVID platform, which will be operational from the end of May in order to facilitate connections with end users, such as hospitals, and provide access to investors, institutions and other bodies from across the EU that provide funding opportunities.

The interdisciplinary team of researchers from NCSR “Demokritos” is among the winners and proposed a solution for the rapid detection of the virus with already existing technology. This is the only winning team that consists exclusively of Greek researchers.

Fast and Low-cost Tests

The proposal is entitled “SERS substrates for virus detection in exhaled droplets” and was submitted to the category “Cheap rapid tests”. It is based on an optical detection technique of molecules (such as virus proteins) using a laser, called SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering), which can be easily  implemented, even with handheld devices and has a wide range of applications, e.g. drug detection in airports.

The basic idea is to adapt this technique for the detection of the coronavirus by collecting exhaled droplets in air filters, properly modified with nanoparticles. SERS is extremely sensitive and provides results in a few minutes. The utilization of this method will be especially useful in hospitals, schools, airports and other public meeting places.

A detailed description of the proposal can be found at:

https://devpost.com/software/sers4sars

For the winners of the competition: https://euvsvirus.org/results/

More information:

Konstantinos Giannakopoulos, PhD CPhys

Laboratory of Electron Microscopy and Nanomaterials, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”

Tel: +30 210650 3335

http://inn.demokritos.gr/prosopiko/k.giannakopoulos/