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New Ultrasensitive Antigen Test simultaneously Detects Multiple Viral Antigens

In this ongoing pandemic, PCR systems serve the need for testing SARS-CoV-2. This system doesn’t offer the exact accuracy thus hindering the decision-making for antigen-specific tests. In this paper, a new technique in molecular diagnostics was studied on a photonic-bio analysis platform where the liquid-core and solid-core analyte of Antiresonant Reflecting Optical Waveguides (ARROWs) intersects and excites for amplification free Single-molecule detection along with Lab on Chip (LoC) of an integrated programmable microfluidic system called as “Ultrasensitive Single protein capture and detection technique”.

The new chip-based antigen test is not only highly sensitive but also enables simultaneous testing for multiple viruses from one sample. This optofluidic chip combines microfluidics (tiny channels for handling liquid samples on a chip) with integrated optics for optical analysis of single molecules. The test uses an “antibody sandwich” approach commonly used for immunoassays. In this case, antibodies specific for the target antigen are attached to magnetic microbeads, so that any target antigen present in the sample sticks to the beads. After washing, a second antibody with the fluorescent marker attached is added, and it binds to any target antigen present on the beads.

The fluorescent markers are attached to the antibodies by a spacer that can be cleaved by ultraviolet light, which releases the markers to flow through the detection chip where they are detected one by one. The researchers attached a green marker to the coronavirus antibody and a red marker to the influenza antibody to distinguish between the two viruses.

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