An electrochemical immunosensor using SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-nickel hydroxide nanoparticles bio-conjugate modified SPCE for ultrasensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies

Microchem J. 2021 Nov:170:106718. doi: 10.1016/j.microc.2021.106718. Epub 2021 Aug 6.


As a promising approach for serological tests, the present study aimed at designing a robust electrochemical biosensor for selective and quantitative analysis of SARS-CoV-2-specific viral antibodies. In our proposed strategy, recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antigen (spike protein) was used as a specific receptor to detect SARS-CoV-2-specific viral antibodies. In this sense, with a layer of nickel hydroxide nanoparticles (Ni(OH)2 NPs), the screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) surface was directly electrodeposited to ensure better loading of spike protein on the surface of SPCE. The differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) showed signals which were inversely proportional to the concentrations of the antibody (from 1 fg mL-1 L to 1 µg mL-1) via a specific and stable binding reaction. The assay was performed in 20 min with a low detection limit of 0.3 fg mL-1. This biodevice had high sensitivity and specificity as compared to non-specific antibodies. Moreover, it can be regarded as a highly sensitive immunological diagnostic method for SARS-CoV-2 antibody in which no labeling is required. The fabricated hand-held biodevice showed an average satisfactory recovery rate of ~99-103% for the determination of antibodies in real blood serum samples with the possibility of being widely used in individual serological qualitative monitoring. Also, the biodevice was tested using real patients and healthy people samples, where the results are already confirmed using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) procedure, and showed satisfactory results.

Keywords: Biodevice; Nickel hydroxide nanoparticles; SARS‐CoV‐2; SARS‐CoV‐2-specific viral antibody; Screen-printed carbon electrode; Spike protein.