May 28, 2024

New technology to detect SARS-COV-2 using sugars rather than antibodies

Scientists at the College of Warwick, Iceni Diagnostics Ltd and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Believe in have demonstrated their engineering to detect SARS-COV-2 applying sugars alternatively than antibodies.

Lateral move diagnostics (LFDs) have been widely used throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to provide swift identification of people today with an lively an infection. These LFDs get the job done by utilizing antibodies, which ‘stick’ to the SARS-COV-2 virus. Professor Matthew Gibson’s investigate crew at the College of Warwick have been performing with Iceni Diagnostics to develop an alternative process of detection applying glycans (‘sugars’), exactly where synthetic polymer chains are made use of to connect the glycans to the surface of nanoparticles. Viruses normally use glycans as a ‘handle’ to attach to our cells, with the crew mimicking this process to enable detection of SARS-COV-2.

Doing work with UHCW NHS Believe in, the workforce shown that prototype gadgets could detect COVID-19 beneficial swabs throughout a vary of viral masses. The group also showed that the technological know-how functioned effectively with the spike proteins from variants of problem, which is a key gain of using glycan-binding technology.

This function plainly demonstrates that glycan-recognition technological know-how can be employed to recognize pathogens, which the tutorial/marketplace staff are actively establishing further more as portion of a collaborative project.


This perform exhibits the opportunity of making use of glycans as alternative detection reagents, compared to the classic antibody-dependent procedures. Additionally, the use of our polymeric linkers, which will allow us to current the glycan on the nanoparticles (which make the purple line), shows the gain of legitimate cross-disciplinary, cross-sector collaboration. This do the job exhibits that our technique can perform with primary scientific samples and we are actively developing this into a authentic-environment product with our partners.”


Matthew Gibson, Professor at Warwick Professional medical Faculty and the Office of Chemistry, College of Warwick


Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos, Professor at Warwick Clinical University and Advisor in Scientific Biochemistry at UHCW NHS Believe in, added: “This is a testament to the reducing-edge scientific investigation getting area at the College of Warwick and UHCW NHS Rely on. Original success of this prototype showed it can conduct favorably in comparison to set up COVID-19 tests with regard to charge, time, precision and reliability. We are delighted to collaborate on this investigate.”

Professor Rob Field, Iceni Diagnostics’ Main Scientific Officer, concluded: “Our ambition was to exemplify how an tutorial and field collaboration can translate hard-main scientific discoveries into sensible remedies, and this review has proven we can do this by combining our deep expertise in glycoscience. The prosperous tests of the prototype system and glycan-centered system will now help us to progress our viral and other pathogen pipelines, and we are delighted to continue working with the University of Warwick crew on this program.”​


Journal reference:

Baker, A. N., et al. (2021) Glycan-Centered Circulation-By means of Product for the Detection of SARS-COV-2. ACS Sensors.