Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly emerging human infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, previously called 2019-nCoV). Based on the rapid increase in the rate of human infection, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Because no specific drugs or vaccines for COVID-19 are yet available, early diagnosis and management are crucial for containing the outbreak. Here, we report a field-effect transistor (FET)-based biosensing device for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples. The sensor was produced by coating graphene sheets of the FET with a specific antibody against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The performance of the sensor was determined using antigen protein, cultured virus, and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from COVID-19 patients. Our FET device could detect the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at concentrations of 1 fg/mL in phosphate-buffered saline and 100 fg/mL clinical transport medium. In addition, the FET sensor successfully detected SARS-CoV-2 in culture medium (limit of detection [LOD]: 1.6 × 101 pfu/mL) and clinical samples (LOD: 2.42 × 102 copies/mL). Thus, we have successfully fabricated a promising FET biosensor for SARS-CoV-2; our device is a highly sensitive immunological diagnostic method for COVID-19 that requires no sample pretreatment or labeling.
Keywords: 2019-nCoV; COVID-19; FET; SARS-CoV-2; biosensor.