Net-Shaped DNA Nanostructure-Based Lateral Flow Assays for Rapid and Sensitive SARS-CoV-2 Detection

Saurabh Umrao, Mengxi Zheng, Xing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lateral flow assay (LFA)-based rapid antigen tests are experiencing extensive global uptake as an expeditious and highly effective modality for the screening of viral infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. While these devices have played a significant role in alleviating the burden on the public healthcare system, their specificity and sensitivity fall short compared with molecular tests. In this study, we endeavor to address both limitations through the utilization of DNA nanotechnology in LFA format, wherein we substitute the target-specific antibody with designer DNA nanostructure-based molecular probes for recognizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus via multivalent, pattern-matching interactions. We meticulously designed a Net-shaped DNA nanostructure and strategically arranged trimeric clusters of aptamers that specifically recognize the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. This approach has proven instrumental in bolstering virus-binding affinity on the LFAs. Our findings indicate high LFA sensitivity, enabling the detection of viral loads ranging from 103 to 108 viral copies/mL. This notable sensitivity is maintained across various SARS-CoV-2 viral strains, obviating the need for intricate sample preparation protocols. The significance of this heightened sensitivity lies in the crucial role played by the designer DNA nanostructure, which facilitates the detection of extremely low levels of viral loads. This not only enhances the overall reliability of self-testing but also reduces the likelihood of false-negative results, especially in cases of low viral load within patient samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3291-3299
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
Early online dateFeb 2 2024
StatePublished - Feb 27 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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