The diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection by quantitative PCR with reverse transcription (RT–qPCR) typically involves bulky instrumentation in centralized laboratories and an assay time of 1–2 h. Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in 17 min via a portable device integrating reverse transcription, fast thermocycling (via plasmonic heating through magneto-plasmonic nanoparticles) and in situ fluorescence detection following magnetic clearance of the nanoparticles. The device correctly classified all nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and sputum samples from 75 patients with COVID-19 and 75 healthy controls, with good concordance in fluorescence intensity with standard RT–qPCR (Pearson coefficients > 0.7 for the N1, N2 and RPP30 genes). Fast, portable and automated nucleic acid detection should facilitate testing at the point of care.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank S.-Y. Cheon for graphic designs and illustrations of figures and POC devices. This work was supported by the Institute for Basic Science (IBS-R026-D1). H.L. was supported in part by US NIH grants R01CA229777, R21DA049577 and U01CA233360, US DOD-W81XWH1910199 and DOD-W81XWH1910194 and the MGH Scholar Fund.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
- Computer Science Applications