Plasmonic-magnetic nanorobots for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection through electronic readout

Jeonghyo Kim, Carmen C. Mayorga-Martinez, Jan Vyskočil, Daniel Ruzek, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) has prompted an urgent demand for nanotechnological solutions towards the global healthcare crisis, particularly in the field of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics. As an emerging tool for nanoscience and technology, micro/nanorobots have demonstrated advanced performances, such as self-propelling, precise maneuverability, and remote actuation, thus hold great potential to provide breakthroughs in the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we show a plasmonic-magnetic nanorobot-based simple and efficient COVID-19 detection assay through an electronic readout signal. The nanorobots consist of Fe3O4 backbone and the outer surface of Ag, that rationally designed to perform magnetic-powered propulsion and navigation, concomitantly the probe nucleic acids transport and release upon the hybridization which can be quantified with the differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) technique. The magnetically actuated nanorobots swarming enables enhanced micromixing and active targeting, thereby promoting binding kinetics. Experimental results verified the enhanced sensing efficiency, with nanomolar detection limit and high selectivity. Further testing with extracted SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA samples validated the clinical applicability of the proposed assay. This strategy is versatile to extend targeting various nucleic acids, thus it could be a promising detection tool for other emerging pathogens, environmental toxins, and forensic analytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101402
JournalApplied Materials Today
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

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© 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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