Detection methods for monitoring infectious pathogens has never been more important given the need to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein we propose a highly sensitive magnetic-focus-enhanced lateral flow assay (mLFA) for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The proposed mLFA is simple and requires only lateral flow strips and a reusable magnet to detect very low concentrations of the virus particles. The magnetic focus enhancement is achieved by focusing the SARS-CoV-2 conjugated magnetic probes in the sample placed in the lateral flow (LF) strips for improved capture efficiency, while horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was used to catalyze the colorimetric reaction for the amplification of the colorimetric signal. With the magnetic focus enhancement and HRP-based amplification, the mLFA could yield a highly sensitive technology for the recognition of SARS-CoV-2. The developed methods could detect as low as 400 PFU/mL of SARS-CoV-2 in PBS buffer based on the visible blue dots on the LF strips. The mLFA could recognize 1200 PFU/mL of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva samples. With clinical nasal swab samples, the proposed mLFA could achieve 66.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number488
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • lateral flow assay
  • magnetic focus enhancement
  • colorimetric detection
  • SARS-CoV-2 monitoring
  • clinical samples
  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Clinical samples
  • Magnetic focus enhancement
  • Lateral flow assay
  • Colorimetric detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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