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Anal Chem ; 94(4): 2126-2133, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634451


SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic practices broadly involve either quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based nucleic amplification of viral sequences or antigen-based tests such as lateral flow assays (LFAs). Reverse transcriptase-qPCR can detect viral RNA and is the gold standard for sensitivity. However, the technique is time-consuming and requires expensive laboratory infrastructure and trained staff. LFAs are lower in cost and near real time, and because they are antigen-based, they have the potential to provide a more accurate indication of a disease state. However, LFAs are reported to have low real-world sensitivity and in most cases are only qualitative. Here, an antigen-based electrochemical aptamer sensor is presented, which has the potential to address some of these shortfalls. An aptamer, raised to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, was immobilized on a low-cost gold-coated polyester substrate adapted from the blood glucose testing industry. Clinically relevant detection levels for SARS-CoV-2 are achieved in a simple, label-free measurement format using sample incubation times as short as 15 min on nasopharyngeal swab samples. This assay can readily be optimized for mass manufacture and is compatible with a low-cost meter.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Dielectric Spectroscopy , Electrodes , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1831): 20200228, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284967


The goal of achieving enhanced diagnosis and continuous monitoring of human health has led to a vibrant, dynamic and well-funded field of research in medical sensing and biosensor technologies. The field has many sub-disciplines which focus on different aspects of sensor science; engaging engineers, chemists, biochemists and clinicians, often in interdisciplinary teams. The trends which dominate include the efforts to develop effective point of care tests and implantable/wearable technologies for early diagnosis and continuous monitoring. This review will outline the current state of the art in a number of relevant fields, including device engineering, chemistry, nanoscience and biomolecular detection, and suggest how these advances might be employed to develop effective systems for measuring physiology, detecting infection and monitoring biomarker status in wild animals. Special consideration is also given to the emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance and in the light of the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, zoonotic infections. Both of these areas involve significant crossover between animal and human health and are therefore well placed to seed technological developments with applicability to both human and animal health and, more generally, the reviewed technologies have significant potential to find use in the measurement of physiology in wild animals. This article is part of the theme issue 'Measuring physiology in free-living animals (Part II)'.

Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , COVID-19/diagnosis , Synthetic Biology/methods , Wearable Electronic Devices , Zika Virus Infection/veterinary , Zoonoses/diagnosis , Animals , Animals, Wild/microbiology , Animals, Wild/parasitology , Animals, Wild/virology , Biomarkers/analysis , Cell Engineering/methods , Humans , Monitoring, Physiologic/instrumentation , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Nanotechnology/instrumentation , Nanotechnology/methods , Point-of-Care Testing , Zika Virus Infection/diagnosis
Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical ; : 130169, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1243228


We present a low-cost electrochemical DNA biosensor based on printed circuit board (PCB) electrodes for wastewater monitoring using portable PCR instruments, such as miniPCR®, without the requirement for qPCR reagents. PCB electrodes are attractive candidates for low-cost and sensitive DNA biosensors of relevance in a pandemic such as COVID-19, and facilitate the opportunity to map disease spread in Low-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) through monitoring of environmental samples such as wastewater. The biosensor reported in this work is capable of detecting PCR amplicons through the intercalation of methylene blue (MB) with DNA, which increases the voltammogram peak current at the redox potential of MB. We describe how these changes are likely to result from the adsorption of MB-DNA complex on the electrode surface. The electrodes are reusable, easy to clean, do not undergo any surface modification and represent a cost-effective solution with long shelf-life. We also explore the impact that MB concentration and DNA length have upon our biosensor performance and provide insights useful to other investigators in the field. The sensor reported here is capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene amplicons at concentrations as low as 10pg/μ l (approximately 1.7fM) and can detect nucleotides amplified after 10 PCR cycles. Furthermore, using the PCB electrode and approaches described here, SARS-CoV-2 amplicons were detected in simulated wastewater sample, by spiking wastewater collected from a sewage treatment plant in Mumbai, India with SARS-CoV-2 RNA.