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The SARS-COV-2 Spike Protein Binds Sialic Acids, and Enables Rapid Detection in a Lateral Flow Point of Care Diagnostic Device

submitted on 11.06.2020, 15:39 and posted on 15.06.2020, 05:48 by Alexander N. Baker, Sarah-Jane Richards, Collette S. Guy, Thomas R. Congdon, Muhammad Hasan, Alexander J. Zwetsloot, anne straube, Marc Walker, Simona Chessa, Giulia Pergolizzi, Simone Dedola, Robert Field, Matthew Gibson

There is an urgent need to understand the behavior of novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2), which is the causative agent of COVID-19, and to develop point-of-care diagnostics. Here, a glyconanoparticle platform is used to discover that N-acetyl neuraminic acid has high affinity towards the SARS-COV-2 spike glycoprotein, demonstrating its glycan-binding function. Optimization of the particle size and coating enabled detection of the spike glycoprotein in lateral flow and showed selectivity over the SARS-COV-1 spike protein. Using a viral particle mimic, paper-based lateral flow detection was demonstrated in under 30 minutes showing the potential of this system as a low-cost detection platform.


MIG is supported by the ERC (638661) and Royal Society (Industry Fellowship 191037). ANB thanks the BBSRC MIBTP program (BB/M01116X/1) and Iceni Diagnostics Ltd. UoW, EPSRC (EP/R511808/1) and BBSRC (BB/S506783/1) impact acceleration accounts are thanked. AJZ is funded by the MRC DTP (MR/N014294/1). AS is a Wellcome Trust Investigator (200870/Z/16/Z).


Email Address of Submitting Author


University of Warwick


United Kingdom

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

RF is a shareholder and CEO of Iceni Diagnostics Ltd. ANB, SJR, MIG are named inventors of a patent application relating to this work.

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