Chattanooga’s Variable Inc. selected to prototype COVID-19 detection device

Chattanooga’s Variable Inc. has been awarded a NASA subcontract to prototype a NASA COVID-19 detection device called the E-Nose.

According to this article, humans release unique volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their breath when they are sick. The new device to be built by Variable could run tests to determine what the VOC pattern from virus infection might be by using the company’s specialized nanosensor array.


Instruments with the capability to detect harmful gases are typically bulky and designed for laboratory use. The E-Nose is handheld.

Variable, founded by George Yu, has spent the past decade developing and perfecting portable colorimeters and spectrophotometers that harness the world’s color libraries in easy-to-use, patented devices that pair with custom developed mobile apps on your smartphone or tablet.

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