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Healthcare

Printing 3D swabs for COVID-19 testing in Quebec

Oct 16, 2020

As COVID-19 spreads, the need for nasopharyngeal testing swabs increases daily due to a supply shortage. A $170,000 grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation enabled researchers at the CHUM in Quebec to focus on solving this supply chain problem. Working with physicists, engineers and clinicians, they adapted and tested an open-source design, created a production process in the hospital using a 3D printer, and are now finalizing a clinical trial, providing an alternative to community health authorities to respond more effectively to the crisis.

As contact tracing becomes increasingly complicated, identifying Canadians with COVID-19 remains an essential part of the pandemic mitigation strategy.

"In the face of this urgent need for action, the CHUM Foundation is extremely grateful that the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation has supported this project," says Julie Chaurette, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CHUM Foundation. "It is an honour to be able to count on this support to carry out our research project on the production and 3D printing of swabs, an innovative project in which cutting-edge technology allows us to develop a degree of autonomy that will help us to better cope with the current crisis." 

As contact tracing becomes increasingly complicated, identifying Canadians with COVID-19 remains an essential part of the pandemic mitigation strategy. By supporting programs like the CHUM’s 3D printing initiative that employs innovative technology to improve testing, we can better manage new outbreaks.