COVID-19 Detection with Carbon Nanotube Based totally Biosensors

The coronavirus illness (2019) pandemic, led to via the fast outbreak of serious acute breathing syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives international. Scientists have advanced more than a few pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical measures to battle this pandemic. Amongst those, the advance of efficient vaccines, therapeutics, and speedy and dependable diagnostic kits may help immensely in managing the disaster. Nanotechnology has performed an important function all the way through the pandemic. This newsletter makes a speciality of the function of carbon nanotubes within the building of biosensors to discover SARS-CoV-2.

Symbol Credit score: angellodeco/

SARS-CoV-2 is composed of a big positive-stranded genomic RNA that encodes accent proteins and 4 structural proteins (spike, envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid). The principle serve as of the S1 area of the spike protein is to bind with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) of the host mobile, whilst the S2 area promotes fusion of the membranes, resulting in an infection.

This virus is very contagious, i.e., it’s simply transmitted by means of contact, droplets, oral-fecal direction, air contamination, from moms to newborns, and from animals to people. To forestall the additional unfold of the virus, early detection is very essential.

Even though real-time polymerase chain response (qPCR) has been really helpful for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, this system calls for dear apparatus, professional group of workers and is time-consuming. This inhibits early and fast detection of the virus – a the most important facet of COVID-19 remedy.

Carbon nanotube-based sensors had been advanced, they usually promise to be extremely environment friendly and fast diagnostic equipment for SARS-CoV-2 an infection.

Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs)

CNTs are carbon-based nanomaterials that possess many distinctive homes. They’re hole, nanometer-thick cylinders, that are extremely stiff and sturdy because of carbon-carbon bonds.

CNTs are to be had in two paperwork: one atom thickness single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) or multi-layers of graphite forming multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). They’re thermally strong, naturally fluoresce when uncovered to laser gentle, and possess digital homes that have been exploited within the building of environment friendly sensors.

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 with out Antibodies

Researchers from MIT have lately designed a singular sensor in line with carbon nanotube sensor era in a position to hastily detecting SARS-CoV-2 with out requiring any antibodies or reagents.

The principle good thing about this sensor is that it may possibly keep away from many time-consuming steps, such because the manufacturing of antibodies and purification. Researchers are assured that this new sensor won’t most effective correctly diagnose COVID-19 but additionally discover different viruses that experience the opportunity of inflicting long run pandemics.

Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, said that fast prognosis may calm down shuttle restrictions as folks might be screened ahead of boarding an aircraft, and this would help in fighting additional unfold of the virus. 

Prior to now, researchers running at Strano’s laboratory claimed that sensors may also be advanced via wrapping CNTs in numerous polymers that reply to precise goal molecules (biomarkers) via chemically spotting them.

A brand new COVID-19 sensor, sometimes called Corona Section Molecular Popularity (CoPhMoRe), is in line with this way.

CoPhMoRe accommodates amphiphilic polymers, the place hydrophobic areas are provide at the tubes like anchors, and hydrophilic areas shape a chain of loops extending clear of the tubes.

The loop association performs the most important function, as just a explicit form of goal molecules can wedge into the areas between the loops. This binding alters the depth of the wavelength of fluorescence produced via the carbon nanotube. Early this yr, Strano’s laboratory and InnoTech Precision Medication (a Boston-based diagnostics instrument corporate) gained the Nationwide Institutes of Well being grant to broaden a CoPhMoRe biosensor to discover SARS-CoV-2 proteins.

Importantly, this sensor can discover each the nucleocapsid and the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. As said above, this instrument is very correct and delicate; it may possibly discover 2.4 picograms of viral protein in line with milliliter of a pattern inside 5 mins. Curiously, this instrument can determine nucleocapsid protein in saliva samples.

The spike protein can’t be detected from the saliva pattern as a result of saliva accommodates carbohydrates and enzymes that intervene with protein detection – that is why maximum COVID-19 diagnostics require nasal swabs.

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 with Antibodies

Earlier research have proven that CNT community field-effect transistor (FET) digital biosensors can successfully discover steel ions, biomolecules (hormones), viruses, and entire cells. Lately, scientists have advanced a brand new electrochemical biosensor in line with carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (CNT-FET) to discover the COVID-19 virus.

CNT-FET allows virtual detection of the SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigens in saliva samples. As in line with the advance of this biosensor, SWCNTs with the immobilization of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 antibody are deposited at the floor of SiO2 between the S-D (source-drain) channels the use of a linker 1-pyrenebutanoic acid succinimidyl ester (PBASE) by means of non-covalent interplay. 

Researchers applied RNA hybridization because the preliminary sign generator, and the liquid gated CNT community FET used to be used because the sign transducer. To broaden this biosensor, researchers have used commercially to be had SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigen to investigate {the electrical} output of the CNT-FET biosensor.

This era can successfully distinguish SARS-CoV-2 from different coronaviruses that comprise SARS-CoV-1 S1 or MERS-CoV S1 antigen. Moreover, it has proved to be extremely delicate and will hastily discover COVID-19 an infection the use of saliva samples.


CNT-based biosensors, each without or with antibodies, have proven top potency with appreciate to correct and fast detection of SARS-CoV-2. A fast detection machine would lend a hand separate contaminated and non-infected people and save you the additional unfold of the COVID-19 an infection.

Early prognosis would advertise SARS-CoV-2 remedy immediately. Those diagnostic approaches are correct, affordable, and a competent selection for current diagnostic tactics.

Proceed studying:Impact of Nano-Perovskite Construction on Suppressing the SARS-CoV-2 An infection.

References and Additional Studying

Zamzami,A.M. et al. (2021) Carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (CNT-FET)-based biosensor for fast detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) floor spike protein S1. Bioelectrochemistry. 143. 107982. To be had at:

Thanihaichelvan, M. et al. (2021) Selective and digital detection of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) the use of carbon nanotube area impact transistor-based biosensor: An evidence-of-concept find out about. Materialstoday Continuing. To be had at:

Lim, Y. W. et al. (2021) Rising Biosensors to Locate Critical Acute Breathing Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): A Overview. Biosensors. 11(11), pp. 434; To be had at:

Trafton, A. (2021) Carbon nanotube-based sensor can discover SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Massachusetts Institute of Generation. [Online] To be had at:

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