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1.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(4): 4811-4822, 2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641826

ABSTRACT

Canonical immunoassays rely on highly sensitive and specific capturing of circulating biomarkers by interacting biomolecular baits. In this frame, bioprobe immobilization in spatially discrete three-dimensional (3D) spots onto analytical surfaces by hydrogel encapsulation was shown to provide relevant advantages over conventional two-dimensional (2D) platforms. Yet, the broad application of 3D systems is still hampered by hurdles in matching their straightforward fabrication with optimal functional properties. Herein, we report on a composite hydrogel obtained by combining a self-assembling peptide (namely, Q3 peptide) with low-temperature gelling agarose that is proved to have simple and robust application in the fabrication of microdroplet arrays, overcoming hurdles and limitations commonly associated with 3D hydrogel assays. We demonstrate the real-case scenario feasibility of our 3D system in the profiling of Covid-19 patients' serum IgG immunoreactivity, which showed remarkably improved signal-to-noise ratio over canonical assays in the 2D format and exquisite specificity. Overall, the new two-component hydrogel widens the perspectives of hydrogel-based arrays and represents a step forward towards their routine use in analytical practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Hydrogels/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sepharose
2.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(7)2021 Apr 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167703

ABSTRACT

A new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) caused the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is used as the gold standard for clinical detection of SARS-CoV-2. Under ideal conditions, RT-qPCR Covid-19 assays have analytical sensitivity and specificity greater than 95%. However, when the sample panel is enlarged including asymptomatic individuals, the sensitivity decreases and false negatives are reported. Moreover, RT-qPCR requires up to 3-6 h with most of the time involved in RNA extraction from swab samples. We introduce CovidArray, a microarray-based assay, to detect SARS-CoV-2 markers N1 and N2 in the nasopharyngeal swabs. The method is based on solid-phase hybridization of fluorescently-labeled amplicons upon RNA extraction and reverse transcription. This approach combines the physical-optical properties of the silicon substrate with the surface chemistry used to coat the substrate to obtain a diagnostic tool of great sensitivity. Furthermore, we used an innovative approach, RNAGEM, to extract and purify viral RNA in less than 15 min. We correctly assigned 12 nasopharyngeal swabs, previously analyzed by RT-qPCR. Thanks to the CovidArray sensitivity we were able to identify a false-negative sample. CovidArray is the first DNA microarray-based assay to detect viral genes in the swabs. Its high sensitivity and the innovative viral RNA extraction by RNAGEM allows the reduction of both the amount of false-negative results and the total analysis time to about 2 h.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Cells ; 10(3)2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125522

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, the handling of biological samples from confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals demanded the use of inactivation protocols to ensure laboratory operators' safety. While not standardized, these practices can be roughly divided into two categories, namely heat inactivation and solvent-detergent treatments. These routine procedures should also apply to samples intended for Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) analysis. Assessing the impact of virus-inactivating pre-treatments is therefore of pivotal importance, given the well-known variability introduced by different pre-analytical steps on downstream EVs isolation and analysis. Arguably, shared guidelines on inactivation protocols tailored to best address EVs-specific requirements will be needed among the analytical community, yet deep investigations in this direction have not yet been reported. We here provide insights into SARS-CoV-2 inactivation practices to be adopted prior to serum EVs analysis by comparing solvent/detergent treatment vs. heat inactivation. Our analysis entails the evaluation of EVs recovery and purity along with biochemical, biophysical and biomolecular profiling by means of a set of complementary analytical techniques: Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis, Western Blotting, Atomic Force Microscopy, miRNA content (digital droplet PCR) and tetraspanin assessment by microarrays. Our data suggest an increase in ultracentrifugation (UC) recovery following heat treatment; however, it is accompanied by a marked enrichment in EVs-associated contaminants. On the other hand, solvent/detergent treatment is promising for small EVs (<150 nm range), yet a depletion of larger vesicular entities was detected. This work represents a first step towards the identification of optimal serum inactivation protocols targeted to EVs analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Containment of Biohazards/methods , Extracellular Vesicles/chemistry , Virus Inactivation , COVID-19/virology , Detergents/pharmacology , Extracellular Vesicles/drug effects , Extracellular Vesicles/genetics , Hot Temperature , Humans , MicroRNAs/analysis , Microarray Analysis , Microscopy, Atomic Force , SARS-CoV-2 , Tetraspanins/analysis , Ultracentrifugation
4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(1)2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1022025

ABSTRACT

A workflow for rapid SARS-CoV-2 epitope discovery on peptide microarrays is herein reported. The process started with a proteome-wide screening of immunoreactivity based on the use of a high-density microarray followed by a refinement and validation phase on a restricted panel of probes using microarrays with tailored peptide immobilization through a click-based strategy. Progressively larger, independent cohorts of Covid-19 positive sera were tested in the refinement processes, leading to the identification of immunodominant regions on SARS-CoV-2 spike (S), nucleocapsid (N) protein and Orf1ab polyprotein. A summary study testing 50 serum samples highlighted an epitope of the N protein (region 155-71) providing good diagnostic performance in discriminating Covid-19 positive vs. healthy individuals. Using this epitope, 92% sensitivity and 100% specificity were reached for IgG detection in Covid-19 samples, and no cross-reactivity with common cold coronaviruses was detected. Likewise, IgM immunoreactivity in samples collected within the first month after symptoms onset showed discrimination ability. Overall, epitope 155-171 from N protein represents a promising candidate for further development and rapid implementation in serological tests.

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