Mobile laboratory able to “rapidly deploy” U of I’s saliva-based COVID-19 test


Professor Abigail Wooldridge, left, project lead for mobileSHIELD, a mobile COVID-19 testing created by a team from the Grainger College of Engineering, gives Chancellor Robert Jones a tour of the facility. Joining the presentation is Professor Harley Johnson, far right, Associate Dean for Research at the Grainger College of Engineering. The project, which will bring COVID-19 testing capability to communities across Illinois and the nation, is an extension of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign SHIELD program for COVID-19 testing solutions.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A prototype for mobile laboratory that can “rapidly deploy” the University of Illinois at Urbana’s saliva-based COVID-19 test has been completed.

It’s called mobileSHEILD, and announcements about potential deployments of it are “expected soon,” according to a news release from the university.

The project, funded by the University of Illinois System and supported by the Discovery Partners Institute, Shield T3 and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, also could deliver other testing capability during a public health crisis, and it will serve as a rich source of human factors engineering data, said Abigail R. Wooldridge, an industrial and enterprise systems engineering professor and mobileSHIELD project director.

Shield T3 is a limited liability company created by the UI’s Board of Trustees as part of a broad effort to expand the reach of saliva-based testing pioneered by researchers at the U. of I.

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