Capacitive immunosensor for COVID-19 diagnosis

Microelectron Eng. 2023 Jan 1;267:111912. doi: 10.1016/j.mee.2022.111912. Epub 2022 Nov 9.


COVID-19 has spread worldwide and early detection has been the key to controlling its propagation and preventing severe cases. However, diagnostic devices must be developed using different strategies to avoid a shortage of supplies needed for tests' fabrication caused by their large demand in pandemic situations. Furthermore, some tropical and subtropical countries are also facing epidemics of Dengue and Zika, viruses with similar symptoms in early stages and cross-reactivity in serological tests. Herein, we reported a qualitative immunosensor based on capacitive detection of spike proteins of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19. The sensor device exhibited a good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at 1 kHz frequency, with an absolute value of capacitance variation significantly smaller for Dengue and Zika NS1 proteins (|ΔC| = 1.5 ± 1.0 nF and 1.8 ± 1.0 nF, respectively) than for the spike protein (|ΔC| = 7.0 ± 1.8 nF). Under the optimized conditions, the established biosensor is able to indicate that the sample contains target proteins when |ΔC| > 3.8 nF, as determined by the cut-off value (CO). This immunosensor was developed using interdigitated electrodes which require a measurement system with a simple electrical circuit that can be miniaturized to enable point-of-care detection, offering an alternative for COVID-19 diagnosis, especially in areas where there is also a co-incidence of Zika and Dengue.

Keywords: COVID-19 diagnosis; Capacitive biosensor; Immunosensor; Spike protein detection.