Detection and analysis of airborne coronavirus droplets using a bioengineered membrane is the focus of exploratory research at the University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Amherst, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Their inspiration comes from nature — the pitcher plant, with its liquid membrane that traps insects.

The project, led by UMaine biomedical engineer Caitlin Howell and UMass Amherst chemical engineer Jessica Schiffman, received a more than $225,000 NSF EAGER award — early-concept grants for exploratory research. Collaborating on the project is UMaine virologist Melissa Maginnis. Read more