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School of Physics scientists develop novel strategy that rapidly quantifies transmissibility or immune-evasiveness of COVID-19 variants

02 Oct 2021

A team of Trinity College Dublin researchers based at the Trinity’s Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, and School of Physics, has developed a new nanomechanical technique for fast, one-step, immune-affinity tests, which can quantify the immune response induced by different COVID-19 variants in serum. Their technique provides a new tool for tracking infection immunity over time and for analysing new vaccine candidates.
Led by Professor Martin Hegner, Principal Investigator in CRANN and Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics, the team’s specific quantitative assay enables direct classification of variant binding properties for screening emerging variants.
The major advantage of the newly developed nano technique with respect to (existing, commonly used) ELISA tests is that while it is equally sensitive – with added single amino-acid resolution – and able to directly detect multiple variants by in situ differential analysis, it can also do so in a mere fraction of the time.


The publication has been chosen by the publishing journal Nanoscale Advances for inclusion in the 2021 Popular Advance Collection

Quantitative nanomechanical SARS CoV-2 variants assay

The research article can be viewed as open access here