By Brian Heater
If you’ve heard of OPT Industries (and odds are you haven’t), it’s due to the MIT spinoff’s roll in printing a novel nasal swab. It’s the kind of thing that might not have gotten much play during a normal year, but made the rounds courtesy of that whole global pandemic thing.
InstaSwab got some good ink in the design world due to its complex geometrical build constructed from ultra-thin polymer fibers measuring less than the width of a human hair.
OPT’s 3D printing system was seven years in the making, but its timing was certainly fortuitous, with the creation of a swab it says is “up to 20 times more effective in bacterial sample elution.” The need for such devices predates COVID-19, of course, and will certainly live on once the pandemic is (knock on wood) in the rearview.