Rapid, Ultrasensitive Clinical Detection of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (nCOVID-19) by Novel Microfluidic Electrochemical Nano-Biosensors

Sanati Nezhad, Amir | $795,560

Alberta The University of Calgary 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in the city of Wuhan, in China and has spread widely, including Canada. In a few weeks, the number of confirmed cases of COVID‑19 infection has dramatically increased. Currently, 20-25% of confirmed cases have severe clinical presentations. With no vaccines nor specific treatments, early confirmation before progression to late stages would provide more time for effective supportive treatment. The traditional detection process requires that samples from sick individuals be transported to laboratories for manual processing. This is extremely inefficient and introduces a significant time-delay that has severe consequences for disease spread. Since January 2020, tests have become increasingly available for clinically suspected patients. However, despite the high sensitivity of these methods, they are not suitable for rapid and large-scale screening for multiple samples because of their long analysis time. Moreover, these methods need skilled personal to perform and not suitable for point-of-care testing. Most of these assays have not been yet adopted for COVID-19. The objective of this project is to develop a novel diagnostic tool for rapid detection of early-stage COVID-19. The device will have an impact to timely inform and refine strategies that stop the spread of the disease.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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