Your address will show here +12 34 56 78

In vitro diagnostics: SARS-CoV-2 (Covid19), HCV (Hepatitis C) & ZIKV (Zika)


RT-qPCR-based assays designed to amplify specific sequences from viruses, such as SARS‑CoV‑2, are the main method currently used for the detection of active infections as they are highly sensitive and specific. Testing usually takes 4-6 hours to complete, but logistical requirements for shipping clinical specimens mean turnaround time increases to at least 24 hours. Furthermore, it is an expensive method and requires specialized personnel for its implementation and interpretation.


Fast, sensitive and specific molecular tests for virus detection are necessary, and even its availability to be performed at home. In the case of SARS‑CoV‑2, it is especially necessary and critical, since it is the cause of the pandemic that is currently affecting more than 200 countries.


At BioAssays, we are developing a novel detection system for SARS-CoV-2, Hepatitis C and Zika viruses using nanoprobes: short sequences complementary to the viral genetic material. Nanoprobes are attached to nanoparticles that, upon virus detection, precipitate causing a colour change visible to the naked eye, getting rid of the need for specific equipment and qualified personnel, so it can be done outside the clinic.


Certainly, implementation of a diagnostic system based on nanoprobes for rapid and specific detection of virus is very complex given the high identity between the sequences of different members of the same virus family. However, at BioAssays we have the technology and know-how necessary to successfully overcome this challenge.


The design of this virus detection system will also allow the rapid application of this technology to detect future emerging viruses.


Project granted by the Consejería de Educación e Investigación, Community de Madrid. Project reference:  IND2017/BMD-7683.