Risk assessment of respiratory disease outbreaks requires the quantification of infectious viruses in airborne droplets. Determining the viral transmission potential via small or large respiratory droplets is a challenge in the realm of fluid dynamics. Currently, progress in understanding disease outbreaks is hindered by the lack of adequate detection equipment.
In this project you will design and build an innovative air sampling device for screening of virus-loaded droplet sprays. The technological challenge is to accurate collect and size-separate droplets in the air, without affecting virus infectivity, while achieving high throughput. The device will be designed through a combination of numerical modelling and experimental testing with well-characterized laboratory sprays that consist of virus-mimicking particles. Once operational, the device will be used at the Viroscience Department of the Erasmus Medical Center to determine the transmission potential of known and novel viruses. The project will be carried out at Eindhoven University of Technology under supervision of Dr. Tess Homan (Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Hanneke Gelderblom (Applied Physics), in close collaboration with the Respiratory Virus Transmission group of Dr. Sander Herfst at Erasmus Medical Center.
The project is embedded within the "Predicting, measuring and quantifying airborne virus transmission" program of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center (PDPC)
, a collaboration between Erasmus Medical Center, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Eindhoven University of Technology.