The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections



The authors received no specific funding for this work


Introduction: The large volume of diagnostic tests required by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a shortage of commercial nasopharyngeal swabs. In an effort to alleviate the shortage, swabs created by 3D printing may be a solution.

Methods: We designed and produced 3D printed swabs and sought to compare their ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in patients admitted for COVID-19 or who were suspected of having COVID-19.

Results: A total of 30 patients were swabbed with a commercial and a 3D printed swab. Results matched in 27 of 30 patients (90%). Two patients were discordant with a positive commercial swab and a negative 3D printed swab and another was discordant because the 3D printed swab was positive and the commercial swab was negative. The sensitivity was 89%, specificity was 92% and Cohen’s kappa coefficient was 0.80.

Conclusion: The 3D printed swabs performed acceptably compared to the commercial swab and may be considered for use in lieu of a commercial swab.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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