Inexpensive, Luminescent Assay Measures COVID-19 Immunity | AIChE

Inexpensive, Luminescent Assay Measures COVID-19 Immunity


At the Univ. of Toronto (U of T), researchers are using a novel technique to measure immunity to COVID-19. With just one pinprick of blood, the assay can detect coronavirus antibodies in under one hour — the quickest and least expensive method yet.

The researchers call their test the serological assay based on split nanoluciferase, or SATiN, for short. It measures immunoglobin G antibodies (IgGs), specifically those that work against SARS-CoV-2. In the presence of coronavirus-specific IgGs, the SATiN mechanism lights up, indicating immunity against COVID-19.

SATiN is based on nanoscale luciferase (NLuc), a luminescent enzyme that detects coronavirus IgGs by splitting into three fragments: β9, β10, and Δ11S. In a blood sample, β9 binds to protein G, a molecule specific to immunoglobin, and β10 binds to the unique spike (S) protein native to SARS-CoV-2. The dual binding of β9 and β10 triggers the Δ11S fragment to luminesce, signifying the presence of coronavirus antibodies.

The scientists tested their...

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