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Functionalized TiO2 Nanotube-Based Electrochemical Biosensor for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2

Sciprofile linkBhaskar S. Vadlamani, Sciprofile linkTimsy Uppal, Sciprofile linkSubhash C. Verma, Sciprofile linkMano Misra
Published: 17 October 2020
 by  MDPI
 in Sensors
Sensors , Volume 20; doi:10.3390/s20205871

Abstract: The COronaVIrus Disease (COVID-19) is a newly emerging viral disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide led the WHO to declare a pandemic within a few months after the first case of infection. Due to the lack of a prophylactic measure to control the virus infection and spread, early diagnosis and quarantining of infected as well as the asymptomatic individuals are necessary for the containment of this pandemic. However, the current methods for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis are expensive and time consuming, although some promising and inexpensive technologies are becoming available for emergency use. In this work, we report the synthesis of a cheap, yet highly sensitive, cobalt-functionalized TiO2 nanotubes (Co-TNTs)-based electrochemical sensor for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 through sensing the spike (receptor binding domain (RBD)) present on the surface of the virus. A simple, low-cost, and one-step electrochemical anodization route was used for synthesizing TNTs, followed by an incipient wetting method for cobalt functionalization of the TNTs platform, which was connected to a potentiostat for data collection. This sensor specifically detected the S-RBD protein of SARS-CoV-2 even at very low concentration (range of 14 to 1400 nM (nano molar)). Additionally, our sensor showed a linear response in the detection of viral protein over the concentration range. Thus, our Co-TNT sensor is highly effective in detecting SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD protein in approximately 30 s, which can be explored for developing a point of care diagnostics for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 in nasal secretions and saliva samples.
Keywords: TiO2 / diagnostics / metal oxide / rapid detection / Spike Glycoprotein / COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

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