Bioelectronic Rapid Test For COVID-19
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The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for rapid protein detection and quantification at the single-molecule level in a format that is simple and robust enough for widespread point-of-care applications or bedside application.

The research published on the medRxiv server introduces a modular nanobody-organic electrochemical transistor sensor that provides results after a 10 minutes exposure to 5 µL of unprocessed samples, maintains high specificity and single-molecule sensitivity in human saliva or serum.

To optimize multiple parameters of the sensor, they used the anti-GFP nanobody-conjugated gate electrode as a model. The sensor responds within a dynamic range of six orders of magnitude.

The researchers confirmed single-molecule sensitivity and high specificity of SARS-CoV-1 or MERS nanobody-functionalized OECTs in buffer samples and saliva in detecting SARS-CoV-2 or MERS-CoV. They have further validated the sensor's performance with the clinical unprocessed nasopharyngeal swab and saliva samples from COVID-19 patients and healthy volunteers and demonstrated a sensitivity comparable to RT-PCR methods.

In conclusion, the researchers have bioengineered a nanobody-functionalized OECT sensor, introducing a label-free electrochemical immunosensing platform with single protein molecule sensitivity and a broad dynamic range. The sensor can also be rapidly adapted to any target for which nanobodies exist or can be raised.

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