An important and unsolved issue in handling pandemics such as COVID-19 is being able to provide a diagnostic test to a large number of individuals, including asymptomatic patients. Northeastern University researchers have developed a POC (Point-of-care) test that can successfully addresses this issue. The proposed saliva-based POC biosensor utilizes nanotechnology to yeild a non-invasive, rapid, and accurate POC viral detection method. This invention aims to develop a rapid 3-5 minutes test for COVID-19 detection using saliva. The rapidity of the test will make it an ideal option to screen infected individuals (including asymptomatic) at hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and health care facilities, workplaces, ports of entries, schools, for home use, in community screening settings, etc.
Technology Overview
In this invention, the commercially available human ACE2 protein is used as a SARS-CoV-2 specific bioreceptor in an electrochemical biosensor. This POC biosensor is capable of detecting and quantifying active SARS-CoV-2 concentration in an individual’s saliva sample. The ACE2 receptor binds selectively to some coronaviruses, excluding other common respiratory viruses such as influenza, which further ensures this method can distinguish between COVID-19 and other diseases. Furthermore, to accomplish the electrochemical reaction between the sensor chemistry and electrode surface, a redox-active probe such as ferrocene or methylene blue will be utilized in the fabrication chemistry. The redox-active probe has a predictable and reproducible electrochemical profile under controlled conditions without the presence of the target molecule in solution. The morphology of the bioreceptor (i.e. ACE2) on the sensor surface will change upon binding of SARS-CoV-2 and results in a change in the electrochemical profile of the redox-active probe. This change in the output signal is proportional to the amount of virus present in the sample.
- This invented sensor working parallel to a portable electronic meter is capable to perform square wave voltammeter electrochemical test to rapidly and accurately detect SARS-CoV-2
- This invented platform is capable of detecting COVID-19 through self-collected human saliva at home without the surveillance of trained personnel
- This invented platform is capable of detecting COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients without administering the test at a healthcare facility 
- This platform can be used for other viral disease detection with minimal modifications in fabrication chemistry and choice of bioreceptor
- Can be used as a saliva-based point-of-care system for viral diseases (e.g. COVID-19)
- Can be used as a saliva-based bio-sensing device for home use to monitor viral diseases (e.g. COVID-19)
- Can be used as a saliva-based viral disease (e.g. COVID-19) screening at hospitals, laboratories, clinics, health-care facilities, workplaces, ports of entry, schools, etc
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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Sheyda Nazarian
Christian Grenier
Nadia Farsaeivahid
Yunqing (Amy) Du
Ming Wang
Medical Device
Saliva - Based Biosensors
Sensor Technology