UNC Charlotte has partnered with Charlotte-based NuSpot Technologies to develop and advance a revolutionary technology of transforming the detection of viruses such as COVID-19 as well as cancers, toxins, strokes and a variety of diseases.
The partnership agreement grants NuSpot the exclusive commercial rights to develop and sell the screening technology known as known as Comparative Discrimination Spectral Detection, invented by professors Ishwar Aggarwal and Menelaos Poutous in the UNC Charlotte Department of Physics and Optical Science in collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. UNC Charlotte’s Office of Research Commercialization and Development announced the partnership and has been instrumental in its formation.
“This partnership demonstrates how academic research can be applied to solve real-world challenges such as creating faster and more affordable medical tests,” said Brad Fach, assistant director of the Office of Research Commercialization and Development at UNC Charlotte.
The screening method holds the potential to detect target substances active in the middle or long wave infrared, even in complex or “noisy” environments that have interfering substances such as water or carbon dioxide. This opens up new possibilities for screening for key disease biomarkers in exhalation, saliva, sweat, urine, blood, tissue and more.
Biomarkers are important for detection and treatment, as they can signal the presence of disease or medical conditions before other symptoms are apparent. Currently, the detection of biomarkers involves expensive, complicated analysis that can take a long time, slowing diagnosis and treatment.
“NuSpot Technologies is excited to acquire the exclusive license for this groundbreaking technology, and we look forward to our continued partnership with UNC Charlotte, a premier research institution, and researchers at the University,” said NuSpot Chief Executive Officer Michael Roth ’17.
Through this partnership, NuSpot plans to develop a variety of applications of CDSD in biomedical markets and to pioneer significant improvements to medical screening and disease detection. The technology also offers potential for combating future pandemics and can provide relief for rapid-testing initiatives for the novel coronavirus.
Applications aside from rapid COVID testing may include screening for cancers, viruses and strokes among other conditions. NuSpot is actively seeking partnerships to further develop and commercialize this innovation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Photo: Professors Ishwar Aggarwal and Menelaos Poutous