Two years ago, the researcher Eduardo Gil Santos (Lugo, 37 years old) patented a technology that made it possible to recognize any bacteria based on the vibrations they emitted. The frequencies of these waves vary according to the size or mechanical properties of each bacteria, which makes each one have a distinguishable pattern. “It’s like listening to them, in a sense, even though they don’t make a sound that is perceptible to the human ear,” says Gil. The objective now is to expand the capabilities of this machine so that it is also able to distinguish the waves emitted by viruses, such as the one caused by covid-19.
The original project emerged about five years ago, just when the researcher returned from France after completing a post-doctorate at the Paris-Diderot University, currently University of Paris. “The idea was always to focus on the detection of infectious diseases,” says Gil. In between, the pandemic emerged, forcing efforts to be condensed into a single disease. Before that, the researcher had been developing mechanical sensors for different biomedical applications for another ten years. “It is not a project that came out of nowhere. We have been working on this for a long time, moving towards the detection of increasingly smaller biological entities ”, summarizes the researcher at the Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology, dependent on the CSIC.