A SARS-CoV-2 aptasensor based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and low-cost gold electrode substrates.

15 October 2021, Version 1


SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic practices broadly involve either qPCR based nucleic amplification or lateral flow assays (LFAs). qPCR based techniques suffer from the disadvantage of requiring thermal cycling (difficult to implement for low-cost field use) leading to limitation on sample to answer time, the potential to amplify viral RNA sequences after a person is no longer infectious and being reagent intense. LFA performance is restricted by qualitative or semi-quantitative readouts, limits on sensitivity and poor reproducibility. Electrochemical biosensors, and particularly glucose test strips, present an appealing platform for development of biosensing solutions for SARS-CoV-2 as they can be multiplexed and implemented at very low cost at point of use with high sensitivity and quantitative digital readout. This work reports the successful raising of an Opti-mer sequence for the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and then development of an impedimetric biosensor which utilises thin film gold sensors on low-cost laminate substrates from home blood glucose monitoring. Clinically relevant detection levels for SARS-CoV-2 are achieved in a simple, label-free measurement format using sample incubation times of 15 minutes. The biosensor developed here is compatible with mass manufacture, is sensitive and low-cost CE marked readout instruments already exist. These findings pave the way to a low cost and mass manufacturable test with the potential to overcome the limitations associated with current technologies.


spike protein
Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)
glucose test strips
point of care

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Information - A SARS-CoV-2 aptasensor based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and low-cost gold electrode substrates
Additional experimental details on the Optimer BioLayer Interferometry data and processing.


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