Texas Tech University

Ultra-Fast COVID-19 Sensor Invented at Texas Tech Gets Boost Into International Markets

The startup launched by Gerardine “Gerri” Botte has received a $4 million investment.
7-May-2021 8:55 AM EDT, by Texas Tech University

Newswise — A COVID-19 diagnostic tool invented at Texas Tech University is getting a big push into global markets.

EviroTech LLC announced today (May 7) a $4 million investment into the company by 1701 Ventures GmbH of Göttingen, Germany, which will allow EviroTech to complete the final design, production startup and market introduction of its Ultra-Fast COVID-19 detection sensor.

The Ultra-Fast COVID-19 detection sensor is a rapid and portable tool for COVID-19 diagnosis with the ability to sense the presence or absence of the virus SARS-CoV-2 in a saliva sample within seconds. The portability and speed of results makes this sensor a transformational diagnostic tool for rapid initial screening and continuous monitoring of an individual.

“This is a very exciting partnership that will accelerate access of the Ultra-Fast COVID-19 sensor worldwide,” said Gerardine “Gerri” Botte, who invented the sensor and founded EviroTech to commercialize it. A professor and Whitacre Department Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering within the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, Botte also is EviroTech’s chief technology officer.

She notes the presence of COVID-19 variants around the world will make the need for testing even more important going forward.

“We are more than excited to accompany EviroTech on this amazing journey,” said Felix Dossman, CEO of 1701 Ventures GmbH and a member of the EviroTech board of directors. “It is a rare opportunity to not just invest but help bring a product to life that will have such a big, positive impact for so many people.”

The entrepreneurial programs available through Texas Tech’s Innovation Hub at Research Park aided in the early growth and development of EviroTech. An initial $13,000 awarded through the Prototype Fund helped launch the startup. The company received $25,000 through the Presidents’ Innovation Award then became an Innovation Hub tenant. Participation in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program provided $50,000 and helped EviroTech focus on its market fit.

“Texas Tech supports innovation and entrepreneurship of its faculty, staff, students and community,” said Kimberly Gramm, associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship. “EviroTech is a perfect example of how our West Texas innovation ecosystem helped reduce risk, validate the technology and ensure product-market fit, which resulted in its ability to quickly raise the necessary capital to enter the market. We have seen this team accelerate its growth and development over the past year, and we are extremely excited to see its growth and impact in the years to come.”

EviroTech is dedicated to the development of transformational technologies to combat infections and viral transmitted diseases. Electrochemistry is its core technical competency, with an approach that integrates electrochemical technology and biomedical engineering.

The Ultra-Fast COVID-19 sensor is an antigen-based electrochemical device, meaning it can detect SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins at an early stage of infection, unlike its antibody-based testing counterparts. The technology has been patented and EviroTech is seeking Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Dr. Botte’s innovative technology is a wonderful example of the impact higher education research has on global societal issues,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. “This valuable diagnostic tool was born in the research labs of Texas Tech University and raised in our very own entrepreneurial system. We are proud of the example Dr. Botte sets for our students and the manner in which she represents the institution through her groundbreaking research.”


About Gerardine “Gerri” Botte

Gerardine “Gerri” Botte joined the Texas Tech Department of Chemical Engineering in 2019. She has more than two decades of experience in the development of electrochemical processes and advanced water treatment systems, and is a visionary and recognized leader in electrochemical science and technology.

She has served in leadership roles for the International Society of Electrochemistry and currently serves as the third Vice President of the Electrochemical Society. She also is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Electrochemistry. In 2014, she was named a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society for her contributions and innovation in electrochemical processes and engineering. She became a Chapter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2012. In 2010, she was named a Fellow of the World Technology Network for her contributions on the development of sustainable and environmental technologies.

Prior to Texas Tech, Botte was a University Distinguished Professor and Russ Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Ohio University, the founder and director of Ohio University’s Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research, and the founder and director of the Consortium for Electrochemical Processes and Technology, an industry university cooperative research center. Botte also is an entrepreneur; she has been involved in the commercialization of technologies and has founded and co-founded companies.


About the Innovation Hub at Research Park

This 40,000-square-foot facility is designed to be a resource for the faculty and students of both Texas Tech and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as well as community members interested in launching new ventures. Texas Tech is a national research university, and the Innovation Hub at Research Park is critical to building the knowledge-based economy of West Texas through the development of innovators and entrepreneurs who solve society’s problems and develop innovations to make impact.



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5861
Released: 23-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
Phone swabs can accurately detect COVID-19
University College London

An accurate, non-invasive, and low-cost method of testing for COVID-19 using samples taken from the screens of mobile phones has been developed by a team led by UCL researchers at Diagnosis Biotech.

Newswise: NIH study suggests COVID-19 prevalence far exceeded early pandemic cases
Released: 23-Jun-2021 11:35 AM EDT
NIH study suggests COVID-19 prevalence far exceeded early pandemic cases
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

In a new study, NIH researchers report that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States during spring and summer of 2020 far exceeded the known number of cases and that infection affected the country unevenly.

Released: 23-Jun-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Half of young adults with covid-19 have persistent symptoms 6 months after
University of Bergen

A paper published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine on long-COVID, describes persistent symptoms six months after acute COVID-19, even in young home isolated people.

Newswise:Video Embedded covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-dr-vin-gupta-narrates-new-american-thoracic-society-video
Released: 23-Jun-2021 9:40 AM EDT
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Dr. Vin Gupta Narrates New American Thoracic Society Video
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

The American Thoracic Society rolls out a new video to address vaccine hesitancy and answer common questions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

18-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Had COVID-19? One Vaccine Dose Enough; Boosters For All, Study Says
American Chemical Society (ACS)

A new study in ACS Nano supports increasing evidence that people who had COVID-19 need only one vaccine dose, and that boosters could be necessary for everyone in the future.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 5:10 PM EDT
Tecnología de inteligencia artificial y ECG puede rápidamente descartar infección por COVID-19
Mayo Clinic

La inteligencia artificial puede ofrecer un manera de determinar con exactitud que una persona no está infectada con la COVID-19. Un estudio internacional y retrospectivo descubrió que la infección por SARS-CoV-2, el virus que causa la COVID-19, provoca sutiles cambios eléctricos en el corazón. Un electrocardiograma (ECG) mediado por inteligencia artificial detecta estos cambios y puede servir como una prueba rápida y confiable para descartar la infección por COVID-19.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 4:45 PM EDT
Penn Medicine to Use $1M from City of Philadelphia for Additional Community Vaccination Clinics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine will continue its collaboration with the West and Southwest Philadelphia communities to operate a series of COVID-19 vaccine clinics in partnership with community organizations, faith-based institutions, restaurants, barbershops, and even professional sports teams thanks to $1 million in funding from the City of Philadelphia, in partnership with PMHCC.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 12:30 PM EDT
Political Variables Carried More Weight Than Healthcare in Government Response to COVID-19
Binghamton University, State University of New York

Political institutions such as the timing of elections and presidentialism had a larger influence on COVID-19 strategies than the institutions organizing national healthcare, according to a research team led by a professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

22-Jun-2021 12:00 PM EDT
Study Testing How Well COVID-19 Vaccine Prevents Infection and Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Among University Students Now Expands to Include Young Adults Beyond the University Setting
Covid-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN)

The Prevent COVID U study, which launched in late March 2021 to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission among university students vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, has expanded beyond the university setting to enroll young adults ages 18 through 29 years and will now also include people in this age group who choose not to receive a vaccine.

Newswise: First Wave COVID-19 Data Underestimated Pandemic Infections
18-Jun-2021 8:30 AM EDT
First Wave COVID-19 Data Underestimated Pandemic Infections
American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Two COVID-19 pandemic curves emerged within many cities during the one-year period from March 2020 to March 2021. Oddly, the number of total daily infections reported during the first wave is much lower than that of the second, but the total number of daily deaths reported during the first wave is much higher than the second wave.

Showing results

110 of 5861