The SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently the most serious challenge to global public health. Its emergence has severely disrupted the functioning of health services and the economic and social situation worldwide. Therefore, new diagnostic and therapeutic tools are urgently needed to allow for the early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and appropriate treatment, which is crucial for the effective control of the COVID-19 disease. The ideal solution seems to be the use of aptamers-short fragments of nucleic acids, DNA or RNA-that can bind selected proteins with high specificity and affinity. They can be used in methods that base the reading of the test result on fluorescence phenomena, chemiluminescence, and electrochemical changes. Exploiting the properties of aptamers will enable the introduction of rapid, sensitive, specific, and low-cost tests for the routine diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. Aptamers are excellent candidates for the development of point-of-care diagnostic devices and are potential therapeutic tools for the treatment of COVID-19. They can effectively block coronavirus activity in multiple fields by binding viral proteins and acting as carriers of therapeutic substances. In this review, we present recent developments in the design of various types of aptasensors to detect and treat the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV; aptamers; aptasensors.