An electronic device developed by engineers at Auburn University promises to improve the speed with which COVID-19 test results are available.

The device is based on 2D materials modified with antibodies for immediately detecting the COVID-19 virus spike protein. According to the team of engineers, once the virus spike protein interacts with the antibody incorporated into the testing device, the electronic properties of the atomically thin monolayer 2D material are impacted. Once a lab technician places a sample on the transistor surface, the device immediately responds and almost instantly reveals the results.

To accomplish this, the team created the 2D field-effect transistor biosensors from monolayer tungsten diselenide crystals, which detect COVID-19 spike proteins.

“The antigen tests are the current rapid on-the-spot screening tests that detect proteins in the virus and deliver results within tens of minutes when the viral load is generally highest,” explained the engineers. “The developed electronic sensors enable much faster detection of samples with much lower viral loads.”

The study, “Two-Dimensional-Material-Based Field-Effect Transistor Biosensor for Detecting COVID-19 Virus,” appears in the American Chemical Society ACS NANO.

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