Large-scale validation of a plasmonic sensor for SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-neutralization with a cohort of food and retail workers

15 December 2023, Version 1


Plasmonic sensors are candidates for numerous clinical applications, but few examples demonstrate their performance on large sample cohorts, a necessary step for clinical translation. The COVID-19 pandemic provided an unprecedented opportunity to validate a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor for SARS-CoV-2 inhibition with a cohort of over 1,000 clinical samples from the longitudinal study of a food and retail worker population. The SPR sensor provided an in vitro model to assess the level of neutralizing antibodies by measuring the inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction with ACE-2 following exposure of the spike protein to naive and immune sera (from vaccination and/or infection). In conjunction with population data on vaccination and infection, and epidemiological data from the local jurisdiction of the study cohort, it is shown that the SPR sensor performed well in assessing the level of “pseudo-neutralization” of participant sera and that the response of the SPR sensor correlates (r = 0.74) with a live virus microneutralization assay as well as with metadata of relevant events (vaccination, waves of infection, etc.) that occurred during the study period. Using these data, the article details the challenges and opportunities of using plasmonic sensors in clinical practice.


clinical sensing
surface plasmon resonance

Supplementary materials

Supporting figures
Raw data points for correlation figures, temporal trends for ELISA and microneutralization, stratified data according to cohort profile


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