DOI: 10.3390/bios14010010 ISSN: 2079-6374

A Portable and Disposable Electrochemical Sensor Utilizing Laser-Scribed Graphene for Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Detection

Runzhong Wang, Bicheng Zhu, Paul Young, Yu Luo, John Taylor, Alan J. Cameron, Christopher J. Squire, Jadranka Travas-Sejdic
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • General Medicine
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Instrumentation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 was the greatest global threat to human health in the last three years. The most widely used methodologies for the diagnosis of COVID-19 are quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and rapid antigen tests (RATs). PCR is time-consuming and requires specialized instrumentation operated by skilled personnel. In contrast, RATs can be used in-home or at point-of-care but are less sensitive, leading to a higher rate of false negative results. In this work, we describe the development of a disposable, electrochemical, and laser-scribed graphene-based biosensor strips for COVID-19 detection that exploits a split-ester bond ligase system (termed ‘EsterLigase’) for immobilization of a virus-specific nanobody to maintain the out-of-plane orientation of the probe to ensure the efficacy of the probe-target recognition process. An anti-spike VHH E nanobody, genetically fused with the EsterLigase domain, was used as the specific probe for the spike receptor-binding domain (SP-RBD) protein as the target. The recognition between the two was measured by the change in the charge transfer resistance determined by fitting the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) spectra. The developed LSG-based biosensor achieved a linear detection range for the SP-RBD from 150 pM to 15 nM with a sensitivity of 0.0866 [log(M)]−1 and a limit of detection (LOD) of 7.68 pM.

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