Rapid and Efficient Detection of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Using an Electrochemical Aptamer-Based Sensor

Andrea Idili, Claudio Parolo, Ruslán Alvarez-Diduk, Arben Merkoçi. ACS Sensors

The availability of sensors able to rapidly detect SARS-CoV-2 directly in biological fluids in a single step would allow performing massive diagnostic testing to track in real time and contain the spread of COVID-19. Motivated by this, here, we developed an electrochemical aptamer-based (EAB) sensor able to achieve the rapid, reagentless, and quantitative measurement of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. First, we demonstrated the ability of the selected aptamer to undergo a binding-induced conformational change in the presence of its target using fluorescence spectroscopy. Then, we engineered the aptamer to work as a bioreceptor in the EAB platform and we demonstrated its sensitivity and specificity. Finally, to demonstrate the clinical potential of the sensor, we tested it directly in biological fluids (serum and artificial saliva), achieving the rapid (minutes) and single-step detection of the S protein in its clinical range.

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