Located in the Galilee's Misgav industrial zone, NanoScent is an Israeli startup that was established in 2017, in collaboration with the Technion.
So far, the company has developed a special device that detects a variety of scents with a low concentration, using scent sensors combined with a machine learning system.
Originally, the device was developed for industrial factories needing to prevent leaks and environmental damage. But following the outbreak of COVID-19, the device has turned onto an entirely different path: identifying the special signature odor emanated by hospitalized patients with the virus. That's right; NanoScent has decided to look into the possibility of identifying COVID-19 in patients, and what's more – Netafim is joining the team!
Led by R&D Labs Director Yoram Engel, the Netafim team on the project is responsible for producing the connection components between the patient and the sampling device. The planning and development team includes Erez Govrin, who is responsible for the initial design and production of the parts (which were 3D printed in the prototype phase), and designing the part that connects the bag containing the sample.
[Photo: A bag and connecting accessories. Top to bottom - a mouthpiece, a tube that opens and closes the air passage in the bag, a connector that allows the movement of the tube, and the connection between the bag and the sampler.]
The project also includes Aran Nachshon, a company that manufactures the bag into which the sample is blown – the very same bags that are used today as solutions in the food sector.
The project is currently in the advanced implementation stages. Since it has successfully completed the pilot programs at the Sheba - Tel Hashomer medical centers, the project has been extended to the Ichilov and Poria medical centers as well, and Netafim has expanded the team: Yair Shomer and Tzipi Yankovitz were appointed to choose the materials for identifying low odors for the final product. Yuval Gabay, who leads Netafim's drip team, is responsible for the tool workshop, as well as for adjusting the injection molds. It should also be noted that our fantastic lab team has assisted and supported all testing and print production.
[Photo: From top right: suction unit and software connection, operating app (smartphone), from bottom right: bag and connection accessories, chip decoding organic compounds, the patient's air intake point.]
The device is projected to be used for rapid and wide-ranging testing, with the goal of placing it in public places and allowing for more significant and safer relief, due to its ability to identify the virus in patients when entering medical facilities.
Did you know? The sample collection bag is based on the knowledge we accrued from our Pulsar product: