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Fast, cheap, and easy to implement point-of-care testing for various pathogens constituted a game changer in past years due to its potential for early disease diagnosis. Herein, we report on the proof-of-concept of a simple method enabling in vitro detection of a structural spike protein subunit from the SARS-CoV-2 (S1 ) in aqueous samples. At the core of this discovery lies the well-known paradigm of monitoring the capacitive current across a reconstituted zwitterionic lipid membrane subjected to a periodic transmembrane potential, followed by the real-time spectral analysis enabling the extraction of the second harmonic of the capacitive current. Subsequent changes in the amplitude of this harmonic recorded during lipid membrane-S1 interactions were correlated with alterations induced in the inner membrane potential profile by the S1 protein subunit adsorption, and were shown to be augmented by ionic strength, the presence of a specific monoclonal antibody designed against the S1 subunit and the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein receptor, and uninhibited by the presence of other human serum proteins. © 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


Alina Asandei, Loredana Mereuta, Irina Schiopu, Yoonkyung Park, Tudor Luchian. Teaching an old dog new tricks: A lipid membrane-based electric immunosensor for real-time probing of the spike S1 protein subunit from SARS-CoV-2. Proteomics. 2022 Mar;22(5-6):e2100047

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PMID: 34586750

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