This content will become publicly available on August 24, 2023

Point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 sensing using lens-free imaging and a deep learning-assisted quantitative agglutination assay
The persistence of the global COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has continued to emphasize the need for point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for viral diagnosis. The most widely used tests, lateral flow assays used in rapid antigen tests, and reverse-transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), have been instrumental in mitigating the impact of new waves of the pandemic, but fail to provide both sensitive and rapid readout to patients. Here, we present a portable lens-free imaging system coupled with a particle agglutination assay as a novel biosensor for SARS-CoV-2. This sensor images and quantifies individual microbeads undergoing agglutination through a combination of computational imaging and deep learning as a way to detect levels of SARS-CoV-2 in a complex sample. SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus in solution is incubated with acetyl cholinesterase 2 (ACE2)-functionalized microbeads then loaded into an inexpensive imaging chip. The sample is imaged in a portable in-line lens-free holographic microscope and an image is reconstructed from a pixel superresolved hologram. Images are analyzed by a deep-learning algorithm that distinguishes microbead agglutination from cell debris and viral particle aggregates, and agglutination is quantified based on the network output. We propose an assay procedure using two images which results in the accurate more »
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NSF-PAR ID:
10353737
Journal Name:
Lab on a Chip
ISSN:
1473-0197
5. Abstract In a viral pandemic, a few important tests are required for successful containment of the virus and reduction in severity of the infection. Among those tests, a test for the neutralizing ability of an antibody is crucial for assessment of population immunity gained through vaccination, and to test therapeutic value of antibodies made to counter the infections. Here, we report a sensitive technique to detect the relative neutralizing strength of various antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We used bright, photostable, background-free, fluorescent upconversion nanoparticles conjugated with SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain as a phantom virion. A glass bottom plate coated with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) protein imitates the target cells. When no neutralizing IgG antibody was present in the sample, the particles would bind to the ACE-2 with high affinity. In contrast, a neutralizing antibody can prevent particle attachment to the ACE-2-coated substrate. A prototype system consisting of a custom-made confocal microscope was used to quantify particle attachment to the substrate. The sensitivity of this assay can reach 4.0 ng/ml and the dynamic range is from 1.0 ng/ml to 3.2  $$\upmu$$ μ g/ml. This is to be compared to 19 ng/ml sensitivity of commercially available kits.