Cardea Bio and the Georgia Tech Research Institute Receive Agreement From the Defense Advanced Research Project to Develop Airborne SARS-CoV-2 Detector

Sensor Can Be Used to Detect the Virus that Causes COVID-19 in Restaurants, Offices, Schools and Other Indoor Environments

SAN DIEGO--()--The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) a seed other transaction agreement as part of their SenSARS program to develop a sensing platform to detect airborne SARS-CoV-2 particles. Cardea Bio is a sub-contractor to this agreement. This agreement will enable the two institutions to develop a real-time pathogen identification technology that can be applied to many different defense and civilian environmental monitoring applications.

Current viral detection methods do not meet the combined requirements of sensitivity, specificity and speed needed to effectively identify and mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in an indoor environment. Cardea’s and GTRI’s sensing platform, based on Cardea’s proprietary graphene-based, biology-gated transistors, or Cardean Transistors™, will be able to detect airborne SARS-CoV-2 particles with superior sensitivity in near-real time.

Sensing SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air with high sensitivity and specificity could provide a new mechanism for public health monitoring, enabling safer conditions for a wide range of basic activities including work, travel, and school,” DARPA said in opportunity notice DARPA-PA-20-01-04 Amendment 1.

Cardea sees this sensor being fit to ventilation systems in indoor environments such as airplanes, trains, restaurants, offices, schools and mass transportation hubs to identify virus particles at the earliest possible moment.

We are thrilled about this opportunity to collaborate with GTRI and DARPA to develop a real-time pathogen identification technology that can be applied across many sectors. Having already demonstrated scalability and the capability of our platform for direct pathogen detection, we are ready to begin work on the SenSARS program,” said Dr. Kiana Aran, Chief Science Officer of Cardea Bio.

We are very excited to be a part of DARPA’s SenSARS program. The Georgia Tech Research Institute has been exploring real-time electronics-based pathogen identification and Cardea is the ideal partner to help bring this technology out of the lab and into commercial use. And beyond SARS-CoV-2, this platform has the potential to rapidly identify any single pathogen or multiple different pathogens of interest,” said Dr. Michael Farrell, Co-Program Manager at GTRI.

In addition to SARS-CoV-2 surveillance monitoring, Cardea anticipates that with continued development, this sensor platform could have far-reaching civilian, public health and defense applications, from agriculture and food supply monitoring to protection against biological or chemical warfare.

About Cardea Bio

Cardea is linking computers to the LIVE molecular signals running biology. Its multi-omics technology consists of a Tech+Bio Infrastructure (hardware, software, wetware and nanoware) and Chipsets manufactured with proprietary Graphene-based Biology-gated Transistors, or Cardean Transistors™ for short.

Cardean Transistors™ leverage graphene, a nanomaterial that is biocompatible and a near perfect conductor due to only being one atom thick, in contrast to the common semiconductor material silicon. Cardea thereby gains a signal resolution high enough to listen into the live molecular signals and that way replaces optical and static measurements with interactive live-streams of multi-omics signal analysis.

Cardea is on a long-term mission they call “Linking up to Life” to empower its “Powered by Cardea” partners with Tech+Bio solutions that will enable them to make significant positive impacts on the world via innovative applications, that are Linking up to Life. For more information about Cardea Bio Inc. visit

About GTRI and Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). GTRI develops advanced technology solutions and large-scale system prototypes to address the most difficult problems in national security, economic development, and the overall human condition. Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,700 employees supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performs more than $600 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry.

As an integral part of Georgia Tech, GTRI’s customers get access to not only a leading research and development organization, but they have an open door to the vast intellectual resources of one of America’s leading research universities.

The GTRI/Georgia Tech enterprise combine the best of both applied and basic research to solve the innovation equation on behalf of clients. This combination provides unsurpassed expertise, technical solutions, and new levels of capability for US armed forces, federal and state sponsors, industry partners, and collaborators worldwide. For more information about GTRI visit


Investor Relations and Media Inquiries:
Rob Lozuk
Chief Business Officer

Release Summary

DARPA awarded the Georgia Tech Research Institute a seed other transaction agreement to develop a sensing platform to detect airborne SARS-CoV-2.


Investor Relations and Media Inquiries:
Rob Lozuk
Chief Business Officer