SF Bay Area Nanotechnology Council


Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Detection by Carbon Nanotube Based Near-Infrared Nanosensors

Professor Markita Landry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,  UC Berkeley

Thurs June 17 – Agenda (California Time)
1:30 PM – Check-in & Nano Journal Club:
Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 Infections – Come prepared to discuss!
     2:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
     2:10 PM – 3:00 PM : Seminar
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register on Eventbrite: Here
     Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

     The global SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has led to a surging demand for rapid and efficient viral infection diagnostic tests, generating a supply shortage in diagnostic test consumables including nucleic acid extraction kits. Here, we develop a modular method for high-yield extraction of viral single-stranded nucleic acids by using ‘capture’ ssDNA sequences attached to carbon nanotubes. Target SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA can be captured by ssDNAnanotube constructs via hybridization and separated from the liquid phase in a single-tube system with minimal chemical reagents, for downstream quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) detection. This nanotube-based extraction method enables 100% extraction yield of target SARS-CoV-2 RNA from phosphate buffered saline in comparison to ~20% extraction yield when instead using a commercial silica-column kit.
     Notably, carbon nanotubes enable extraction of nucleic acids directly from 50% human saliva, bypassing the need for further biofluid purification and avoiding the use of DNA/RNA extraction kits. Carbon nanotube-based extraction of viral nucleic acids facilitates high-yield and high-sensitivity identification of viral nucleic acids such as the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome with reduced reliance on reagents affected by supply chain obstacles.
     We additionally discuss a carbon nanotube-based near-IR nanosensor for detection of active SARS-CoV-2 infections, in which the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein elicits a robust, two-fold near-IR nanosensor fluorescence increase within 90 min of spike protein exposure. We characterize the nanosensor stability and sensing mechanism and passivate the nanosensor to preserve sensing response in saliva and viral transport medium. We further demonstrate that these ACE2-SWCNT nanosensors retain near-IR detection capacity in a surface-immobilized format, exhibiting a 73% fluorescence turn-on response within 5 s of exposure to 35 mg/L SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles. Taken together, our efforts can help increase the sensitivity of existing qPCR-based tests and provide orthogonal methods of identifying active CoV2 infections.

Read More: Rapid SARS-CoV‑2 Spike Protein Detection by Carbon Nanotube-Based Near-Infrared Nanosensors


     Markita Landry is an assistant professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics and a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
     Her current research centers on the development of synthetic nanoparticle-polymer conjugates for imaging neuromodulation in the brain, and for the delivery of genetic materials into plants. The Landry lab exploits the highly tunable chemical and physical properties of nanomaterials for the creation of bio-mimetic structures, molecular imaging, and plant genome editing. She is also on the scientific advisory board of Terramera and on the scientific advisory board of Chi-Botanic. She is a recent recipient of over 20 early career awards, including awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the DARPA Young Investigator program, the Beckman Young Investigator program, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the NSF CAREER award, is a Sloan Research Fellow, an FFAR New Innovator, and is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.

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