A Transistor-Based Biosensor for COVID-19
A new biosensor may offer rapid COVID-19 detection
Luke Turner | | Quick Read
A field-effect transistor-based biosensor can detect SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swabs in under one minute (1). Most tests for the novel coronavirus use real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a technique that amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA. But this method takes at least three hours and requires manual viral RNA preparation. The new technique analyzes patient samples directly from a tube of buffer with no preparation needed.
The transistor consists of a sheet of graphene with high electronic conductivity, to which the researchers attached SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibodies. When the virus binds to the antibody, it alters the current traveling between two electrodes – confirming the presence of SARS-CoV-2. In tests, the sensor was able to discriminate between not only COVID-19 patients and healthy controls, but also between SARS-CoV-2 and the virus causing Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Although 2–4 times less sensitive than RT-PCR, the team plans to explore different materials to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.
Enjoy our FREE content!
Log in or register to gain full unlimited access to all content on the The Pathologist site. It’s FREE and always will be!
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine
Or Login via Social Media
By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.
- G Seo et al., ACS Nano, 14, 5135 (2020). PMID: 32293168.