Virus detection has typically been done by conventional RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction). The conventional RT-PCR method has several disadvantages such as needing a longer analysis time, requiring a skilled labor force, and fluorescence dye for RT-PCR may have non-specific characteristics from time to time. The proposed approach can provide a single RNA molecule level of detection with a one hour analysis, a fully automated system, and multiple detections.

Technology Overview

The objective of the proposed approach is to detect the various viral-RNA molecules by rolling circle amplification coupled with multiplexed primer-conjugated beads in BioMEMS devices including a microfluidic-microdroplet and a lateral flow paper fluidic platform.

This novel RNA detection technology consists of:

(1. RCA) a virus RNA detection mechanism using a novel rolling circle amplification that can detect a low level of RNA by amplifying its signal 

(2. Multi-detection) various conjugated-beads enabled to differentiate multiple target detections (Normal Flu vs. COVID-19)

(3. Multi-platform) applicable to various BioMEMS platform such as microfluidic devices and lateral flow paper testing tools.


Shorter analysis time required (1 hour)

- Fully automated system (no need for trained labor)

- Multiple detections, to differentiate the normal flu virus and COVID19 

- Reduced consumption of analytical reagents including molecular detection probes, thus lowering the cost of application 

- Single RNA molecule level of detection is expected since ScanDrop microdroplet platform has more than 10K throughput


Lightweight, portable devices that can be adapted for the field applications

- Rapid and accurate diagnostic tool for COVID-19 and newly discovered viral strains

- The diagnostic analysis associated with novel RCA mechanisms can be also used in various other types of diagnostics including DNA/RNA fragments, proteins, exosomes, etc



- Partnering

- Research collaboration

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Ji Won Lim
Tania Konry
Analytical Chemistry