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Meet the Ghanaian nanoscientist whose invention detects new variants of Coronavirus

By: Ghana Web

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As more and more new variants of the novel Coronavirus are discovered across the world, with reported cases of the pandemic too on the ascendency, a Ghanaian nano-scientist has invented an innovative way of detecting the virus, and categorising them.

The virus tracking device by Dr. Eric Ashalley, who works with the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR) under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), brings testing diagnosis to the doorstep of everyone, reports

“The device can categorise and detect virus. When it comes to the COVID-19 viruses, it can tell you which variant one is infected with,” he told Asaase Radio in an interview.


Already, the Ghanaian technology research scientist has secured a patent from the United States Patent Office for his device, which also has an integrated GPS that allows the device to easily trace contacts.

“Where we can’t send people for contact tracing, we can use the device because it can pinpoint people with the virus, thanks to the GPS.

“The new device categorises various bacteria and viruses at an extremely high accuracy of 99.87% and it is compatible with smartphones and wearable devices,” Dr. Ashalley said.

He explained that the device is also able to detect and categorise various kinds of microorganism and viruses, using light- matter interplay.

The best part about the news of this device too is that, this invention can easily detect other viruses more dangerous than the novel Coronavirus anywhere in the world, at any time.

Dr. Eric Ashalley added that this was done in collaboration with the University of North Texas, USA, led by Prof Arup Neogi.

He also urged the government to be proactive in supporting innovations in the country, adding that it is one of the surest ways of wealth-creation for the country.

“To the government, do not wait for innovators to come to you for help. Sometimes you calling in to check what is happening and providing support is encouraging, but when there’s too much silence, it defeats the purpose to which we are inventing,’’ he said.

Profile of Dr. Eric Ashalley

Ashalley received his Masters and PhD degrees from the Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences (IFFS) at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), in 2014 and 2018 respectively, both in nanoscience and technology.

He has professional membership with IEEE, Optical and the Royal Society of Chemistry – UK. Ashalley is also the founder and CEO of RGlobal-worldwide; a multidisciplinary research institute.

He has two years of postdoctoral research experience jointly with the University of North Texas-USA and UESTC-China in 2021, and currently working with the Institute for Industrial Research under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-IIR).

His research interests include machine-learning-based nanophotonic systems design and optimisation, optical neural networks, chiral plasmonics and integrated intelligent nanophotonic devices.


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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2022 15:11
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