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  1. 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. 
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  2. Abstract

    Glycans are the major components of the cellular membranes and mediate many cellular processes via their interactions with lectins. A kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) model was proposed previously to incorporate the key features of glycan‐lectin interactions such as multivalency and glycan diffusion, and its accuracy has been validated by experiments. However, computational cost of the kMC model is its major bottleneck. In this study, a hybrid model combining a partial differential equation (PDE) with the kMC model is proposed to greatly reduce the computational cost while preserving the accuracy. Specifically, glycan diffusion is simulated by the PDE for improving computational efficiency since the glycan diffusion execution through the kMC is computationally expensive. The hybrid PDE‐kMC model is employed to simulate the binding dynamics between cholera toxin subunit B and gangliosides on cellular membranes. The accuracy and efficiency of the proposed model was demonstrated by comparing with the sole kMC model.

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  3. Abstract

    Glycans are the most abundant fundamental biomolecules, but profiling glycans is challenging due to their structural complexity. To address this, a novel glycan detection platform is developed by integrating surface‐enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), boronic acid receptors, and machine learning tools. Boronic acid receptors bind with glycans, and the reaction influences molecular vibrations, leading to unique Raman spectral patterns. Unlike prior studies that focus on designing a boronic acid with high binding selectivity toward a target glycan, this sensor is designed to analyze overall changes in spectral patterns using machine learning algorithms. For proof‐of‐concept, 4‐mercaptophenylboronic acid (4MBA) and 1‐thianthrenylboronic acid (1TBA) are used for glycan detection. The sensing platform successfully recognizes the stereoisomers and the structural isomers with different glycosidic linkages. The collective spectra that combine the spectra from both boronic acid receptors improve the performance of the support vector machine model due to the enrichment of the structural information of glycans. In addition, this new sensor could quantify the mole fraction of sialic acid in lactose background using the machine learning regression technique. This low‐cost, rapid, and highly accessible sensor will provide the scientific community with another option for frequent comparative glycan screening in standard biological laboratories.

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