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COVID-19 pandemic: U of T Engineering stories

Senior Research Associate Peter Stogios (ChemE) is producing and analyzing viral proteins as part of the Toronto Open Access COVID-19 Protein Manufacturing Centre. (Photo Nick Iwanyshyn)

A U of T Engineering team is manufacturing coronavirus ‘parts’ for COVID-19 research

The structure of SARS-CoV-2 is now all too recognizable, resembling a soccer ball covered in spiky protrusions. A team of U of T researchers are replicating these spikes — and all the other proteins that enable its deadly attack on the human body — in the hopes of speeding up COVID-19 research around the world. “There are about 25 of...
Professor Kamran Behdinan is leading a team to design and manufacture assisted-bag ventilators. (Photo: Pam Walls)

COVID-19: A ‘last resort’ breathing machine prototype heads to clinical trials

U of T Engineering professor Kamran Behdinan (MIE) and a team of researchers at the University Health Network (UHN) are designing a life-saving device they hope never has to be used. The team’s prototype of a low-cost breathing machine — known as a high acuity, limited operability (HALO) ventilator system — is now undergoing clinical testing and could be deployed...
Professor Timothy Chan (MIE) is collaborating with the University Health Network to launch Redeploy, an optimization tool to improve hospital staffing during the pandemic. (Photo: Pam Walls)

U of T Engineering team develops redeployment tool to optimize hospital staffing amid COVID-19

U of T Engineering researchers have developed Redeploy, a tool that optimizes and automates the matching of available staff to jobs that need to be filled throughout the hospital. As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches its peak in Ontario, staffing needs in hospitals in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have rapidly changed. Researchers, nurses, and other hospital staff may...
The team developing a more sensitive test for COVID-19 (Photo: Alexandros Sklavounos).

Meet the U of T Engineering team developing an on-the-go test for COVID-19

A team led by Professor Warren Chan (IBBME, Donnelly Centre) is developing an automated, more sensitive and rapid test for COVID-19 to help curb the pandemic. The current global lockdown only made their resolve to continue with their research stronger. “It is very rewarding being able to work with everyone and do something that is contributing to this and future...
A research team led by Professor Willy Wong (ECE, IBBME) developed a quick solution for monitoring patients’ respiratory status using small but powerful single-board Raspberry Pi printed circuit boards. (Photo: Harrison Broadbent via Unsplash)

U of T Engineering team programs single-board computers to remotely monitor COVID-19 patients and protect health care workers

A U of T Engineering team has created a simple, scalable solution to remotely monitor the vital signs of COVID-19 patients, while preserving vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for health-care workers. Currently, hospitals use a fingertip probe to monitor the respiratory status of COVID-19 patients. These probes monitor blood oxygen saturation and output the data to bedside monitors that must...
Alison Olechowski (MIE, ISTEP) studies the future of work and how engineering teams reach reliable decisions when designing new products. (Photo: Pam Walls)

How engineers can keep innovating — while working from home

The future of workplace collaboration has arrived early. For those who can work remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new normal has arisen over the last month. In professions where intensive collaboration is the norm, such as in engineering, this poses new and unexpected challenges. “Most people get to plan when they work from home. These are unusual times where...
Dubbed the Buddy Badge, the wearable device acts as a transponder, using a system of sensors connected to hand-washing stations, doorways, and critical routes to patient rooms. (Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash)

U of T startup’s wearable tech encourages hand hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19

An IBBME researcher is developing a wearable technology that reminds frontline health-care workers to consistently wash their hands. This technology could significantly reduce the spread of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs), including COVID-19. Dubbed the Buddy Badge, the wearable device acts as a transponder, using a system of sensors connected to hand-washing stations, doorways, and critical routes to patient rooms. If the...
Emissions are seen rising from an industrial facility. Professor Greg Evans (ChemE) studies connections between air pollution and human health. (Photo: Ella Ivanescu / Unsplash)

Can lowering emissions improve the odds against COVID-19? A U of T Engineering expert examines the evidence

With countries shutting down large sections of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, many regions have seen strong improvements in air quality in a very short time. As cities decongest, U of T Engineering Professor Greg Evans (ChemE) is using this unprecedented global experiment to study the effects of air quality on the spread of COVID-19. Evans and his team...
Milica Radisic (ChemE, IBBME) is working with Axel Guenther and Edmond Young (both MIE) to create tiny models of the nose, mouth, eyes and lungs to better understand how COVID-19 infects organs. (Credit: Neil Ta)

How does COVID-19 invade our bodies so easily? U of T Engineering team uses ‘organ-on-a-chip’ model to find out

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the...
Honeybee Hub co-founders Weiwei Li (left) and Catherine Chan (right).

New web portal by U of T alumni connects study participants to COVID-19 research

U of T alumni Catherine Chan (Medicine) and Weiwei Li (MSE 1T6, MASc 1T8) have created a web portal to connect COVID-19 researchers with potential research study participants. Since it launched in March, there have been more than 770 COVID-19 studies posted on the portal from around the world. Chan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Honeybee, says there is great...

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