Research activities are in full swing globally to translate the use of saliva as a non-invasive and highly potential specimen for clinical diagnostics, particularly for COVID-19 detection. Being comprised of a pool of biomarkers also enriched with ACE-2 receptors, saliva can provide vital information regarding the state of the human body. Advancements in biophotonics tools for saliva investigation may offer promise for developing rapid, highly objective, optical modalities for COVID- 19 detection. This article presents concept/design study, which propose the use of Raman/laser induced fluorescence spectroscopic device that have the potential for viral detection via saliva from a safer distance. Noticeable changes of biomarkers present in saliva in response to viral infection can reflect the pathological state, thus can altogether affect the Raman spectral pattern. Monitoring these spectral patterns of saliva, which are further enhanced by using cost effective and reproducible Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy substrates can be a viable option for sensitive and non-invasive viral detection. The spectral information acquired from the optical device can be processed using various multivariate statistical analytical tools, which ultimately facilitate effective viral detection in few minutes. This method doesn't demand the necessity of qualified professionals and sample processing with reagents unlike in RT-PCR test. The proposed optical device can be further modified into a portable form, which can be easily transported for field applications. The stand-off observation, contactless and highly non-invasive technique can be of paramount importance in the current context, where the safer screening of a large population for viral infection by maintaining social distances is a necessity. The proposed stand-off spectroscopic technique can also address the major concern of nosocomial viral transmission amongst healthcare workers during sample collection in a pandemic scenario.
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