ICN2 researchers develop novel low-cost platform for rapid detection of COVID-19 genes

By February 12, 2024ICN2

A team from the Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors group at the BIST community centre ICN2 has created a platform that can detect two SARS-CoV-2 genes simultaneously, using inkjet-printed nanostructured gold electrodes and a battery-free NFC potentiostat. This platform offers speed, simplicity, sensitivity, and cost-effectiveness, making it a promising solution for point-of-care diagnostics and high-throughput analysis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need for efficient and accessible diagnostic tools that can provide accurate and timely results. A team of researchers from the ICN2 in the Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors group, led by ICREA Prof. Arben Merkoçi, has developed a novel and cost-effective solution for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 genes, which is published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

The platform is based on a multiplexed DNA-based sensing strategy that uses inkjet-printed nanostructured gold electrodes, produced by combining inkjet printing with a sintering protocol developed by the group, and a battery-free NFC potentiostat, which allows for rapid measurements and real-time data analysis through a smartphone application. The platform can detect two SARS-CoV-2 genes, ORF1ab and N, in a single-step, signal-ON manner, without the need for multi-step, wash- and reagent-intensive processes. The platform has advantages such as fast response (5 min), sensitivity (low pM range, ~450% signal gain), and cost-effectiveness (about €2). The platform can be easily adapted for the detection of other viruses as well as long non-coding RNA, expanding its applications.

This work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101029884 (SERENA).

Reference article:
Rossetti, Marianna; Srisomwat, Chawin; Urban, Massimo; Rosati, Giulio; Maroli, Gabriel; Yaman Akbay, Hatice Gözde; Chailapakul, Orawon & Merkoçi, Arben (2024). Unleashing inkjet-printed nanostructured electrodes and battery-free potentiostat for the DNA-based multiplexed detection of SARS-CoV-2 genes. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 250, 116079. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2024.116079.

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