VIPIRS - Virus Identification via Portable InfraRed Spectroscopy

  • Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Total publications:1 publications

Grant number: EP/V026488/1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    University of Ulster
  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory


  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Spectroscopic techniques such as infra-red, Raman, and mass spectrometry have long been used to identify chemical compounds and biological species, including bacteria and viruses, usually in specialised lab conditions with high performance instrumentation. Virus identification in realistic clinical/field environments, using low cost instrumentation, is appealing, as it can be widely deployed and so is very suitable for diagnosis, prevention and management in pandemics such as COVID-19. However, low cost instrumentation produces poorly-resolved spectra with added noise. Our recent work has investigated machine learning algorithms applied to spectra from low cost near infra-red (NIR) spectrometers to extract identifiable patterns from targets with complex backgrounds and limited experimental control/processing. Our latest study shows that it is possible to use the technique to accurately differentiate respiratory syncytial virus and Sendai virus in different media, and quantify their viral loads. We aim to develop a spectrometer-fronted, cloud-based system for in-situ SARS-CoV-2 detection with three deliveries. The system will record spectra from patient nasal samples in the field and return a positive/negative diagnosis within ~ 1 minute, based on model-driven analytics running on a cloud-based service. The detection model will be developed, trained and validated using spectra from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in (a) lysis buffer and (b) nasal aspirate simulant; the model will then be used to determine whether the virus is present in the sample using a 'subsumption' operation in the learning algorithm. The system will be validated in real environments in collaboration with our partners in Northern Ireland Regional Virology Lab (RVL).

Publicationslinked via Europe PMC

Last Updated:38 minutes ago

View all publications at Europe PMC

Detecting Respiratory Viruses Using a Portable NIR Spectrometer-A Preliminary Exploration with a Data Driven Approach.