Portable microfluidic impedance biosensor for SARS-CoV-2 detection

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Pandemics as the one we are currently facing, where fast-spreading viruses present a threat to humanity, call for simple and reliable methods to perform early diagnosis, enabling detection of very low pathogen loads even before symptoms start showing in the host. So far, standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most reliable method for doing so, but it is rather slow and needs specialized reagents and trained personnel to operate it. Additionally, it is expensive and not easily accessible. Therefore, developing miniaturized and portable sensors which perform early detection of pathogens with high reliability is necessary to not only prevent the spreading of the disease but also to monitor the effectiveness of the developed vaccines and the appearance of new pathogenic variants. Thus, in this work we develop a sensitive microfluidic impedance biosensor for the direct detection of SARS-CoV-2, towards a mobile point-of-care (POC) platform. The operational parameters are optimized with the aid of design-of-experiment (DoE), for an accurate detection of the viral antigens using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We perform the biodetection of buffer samples spiked with fM concentration levels and validate the biosensor in a clinical context of relevance by analyzing 15 real patient samples up to a Ct value (cycle threshold) of 27. Finally, we demonstrate the versatility of the developed platform using different settings, including a small portable potentiostat, using multiple channels for self-validation, as well as with single biosensors for a smartphone-based readout. This work contributes to the rapid and reliable diagnostics of COVID-19 and can be extended to other infectious diseases, allowing the monitoring of viral load in vaccinated and unvaccinated people to anticipate a potential relapse of the disease.


Original languageEnglish
Article number115362
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85161549178
PubMed 37300901
ORCID /0000-0002-9899-1409/work/143075178



  • COVID-19 diagnostics, Electrochemical detection, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, Point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 biosensor, SARS-CoV-2, Reproducibility of Results, Humans, Biosensing Techniques/methods, Electric Impedance, COVID-19/diagnosis, Microfluidics