The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognised that spun synthetic swabs with a similar design to Q-tips could be used to test patients for Covid-19 through samples collected at the front of the nose.

US Cotton has developed a polyester-based Q-tip-esque swab that is fully synthetic for compatibility with Covid-19 testing, which is now plans to produce in large quantities. This finding that spun synthetic swabs could be used for COVID-19 testing is based on results from a clinical investigation that represents a collaboration between the FDA, UnitedHealth Group, the Gates Foundation, and Quantigen.

Testing from the front of the nose will allow self-collection by patients, limiting the exposure of healthcare providers to Covid-19.