Tracking the viral progression of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 infected body tissues is an emerging need of the current pandemic. Imaging at near infrared second biological window (NIR-II) offers striking benefits over the other technologies to explore deep-tissue information. Here we design, synthesise and characterise a molecular probe that selectively targets the N-gene of SARS-CoV-2. Highly specific antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) were conjugated to lead sulfide quantum dots using a UV-triggered thiol-ene click chemistry for the recognition of viral RNA. Our ex vivo imaging studies demonstrated that the probe exhibits aggregation induced NIR-II emission only in presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA which can be attributed to the efficient hybridisation of the ASOs with their target RNA strands.
- severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films