Quantitative and ultrasensitive in situ immunoassay technology for SARS-CoV-2 detection in saliva

Sci Adv. 2022 May 27;8(21):eabn3481. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abn3481. Epub 2022 May 25.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become an immense global health crisis. However, the lack of efficient and sensitive on-site testing methods limits early detection for timely isolation and intervention. Here, we present a quantitative and ultrasensitive in situ immunoassay technology for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection in saliva (QUIT SARS-CoV-2). Our nanoporous membrane resonator generates a rapid oscillating flow to purify and concentrate fully intact SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva by 40-fold for in situ detection of viral antigens based on chemiluminescent immunoassay within 20 min. This method can not only achieve a detection sensitivity below 100 copies/ml of virus, comparable to the bench-top PCR equipment; it can also improve detection specificity via direct monitoring of viral loads. The integrated portable QUIT SARS-CoV-2 system, which enables rapid and accurate on-site viral screening with a high-throughput sample pooling strategy, can be performed in primary care settings and substantially improve the detection and prevention of COVID-19.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Saliva
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technology