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In Nature communications ; h5-index 260.0

Highly sensitive rapid testing for COVID-19 is essential for minimizing virus transmission, especially before the onset of symptoms and in asymptomatic cases. Here, we report bioengineered enrichment tools for lateral flow assays (LFAs) with enhanced sensitivity and specificity (BEETLES2), achieving enrichment of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, nucleocapsid (N) proteins and immunoglobulin G (IgG) with 3-minute operation. The limit of detection is improved up to 20-fold. We apply this method to clinical samples, including 83% with either intermediate (35%) or low viral loads (48%), collected from 62 individuals (n = 42 for positive and n = 20 for healthy controls). We observe diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 88.1%, 100%, and 91.9%, respectively, compared with commercial LFAs alone achieving 14.29%, 100%, and 41.94%, respectively. BEETLES2, with permselectivity and tunability, can enrich the SARS-CoV-2 virus, N proteins, and IgG in the nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swab, saliva, and blood serum, enabling reliable and sensitive point-of-care testing, facilitating fast early diagnosis.

Park Seong Jun, Lee Seungmin, Lee Dongtak, Lee Na Eun, Park Jeong Soo, Hong Ji Hye, Jang Jae Won, Kim Hyunji, Roh Seokbeom, Lee Gyudo, Lee Dongho, Cho Sung-Yeon, Park Chulmin, Lee Dong-Gun, Lee Raeseok, Nho Dukhee, Yoon Dae Sung, Yoo Yong Kyoung, Lee Jeong Hoon