As COVID-19 quickly spread worldwide this spring, shortages of supplies, including the nasopharyngeal (nasal) swabs used to collect viral samples, limited diagnostic testing.
Now, a multisite clinical trial led by the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) Morsani College of Medicine and its primary hospital affiliate Tampa General Hospital (TGH) provides the first evidence that 3D-printed alternative nasal swabs work as well, and safely, as the standard synthetic flocked nasal swabs.
The results were published online Sept. 10 in Clinical Infectious Diseases. A commentary accompanying the paper cites the authors’ timely, collaborative response to supply chain disruptions affecting testing capacity early in the pandemic.
Seeking a solution to an unprecedented demand for nasal swabs at their own institution and others, USF Health researchers in the Departments of Radiology and Infectious Diseases reached out to colleagues at TGH; Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care provider; and leading 3D-printer