The role of the surface ligand on the performance of electrochemical SARS-CoV-2 antigen biosensors

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2022 Jan;414(1):103-113. doi: 10.1007/s00216-020-03137-y. Epub 2021 Feb 22.


Point-of-care (POC) technologies and testing programs hold great potential to significantly improve diagnosis and disease surveillance. POC tests have the intrinsic advantage of being able to be performed near the patient or treatment facility, owing to their portable character. With rapid results often in minutes, these diagnostic platforms have a high positive impact on disease management. POC tests are, in addition, advantageous in situations of a shortage of skilled personnel and restricted availability of laboratory-based analytics. While POC testing programs are widely considered in addressing health care challenges in low-income health systems, the ongoing pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections could largely benefit from fast, efficient, accurate, and cost-effective point-of-care testing (POCT) devices for limiting COVID-19 spreading. The unrestrained availability of SARS-CoV-2 POC tests is indeed one of the adequate means of better managing the COVID-19 outbreak. A large number of novel and innovative solutions to address this medical need have emerged over the last months. Here, we critically elaborate the role of the surface ligands in the design of biosensors to cope with the current viral outbreak situation. Their notable effect on electrical and electrochemical sensors' design will be discussed in some given examples. Graphical abstract.

Keywords: Biosensors; Electrochemistry; Field effect transistors; Point-of-care (POC) technologies; SARS-CoV-2; Surface ligands.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Viral / analysis*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • COVID-19 Testing / methods*
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Point-of-Care Testing / trends*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Ligands