A rapid detection test (RDT) to determine surface contamination by the SARS-CoV2 virus

The residual bacterial and viral contamination that remains on surfaces after cleaning in healthcare and palliative care settings is particularly lethal during a pandemic. Due to inevitable overcrowding and long shift hours, slipups occur. A technique to monitor surface cleanliness, and particularly to detect the presence of SARS-CoV2, is required to ascertain contamination and, if necessary, refine cleaning processes. We will develop a swab-based rapid detection test (RDT) kit to determine the presence of the SARS- CoV2 virus on surfaces. The RDT is based on a proven particle plasmon resonance sensing method using gold nanoparticles commercialized by our industry partner Genemis Labs. During our research, we will modify this sensing technique and make it specific to SARSCoV2 virus using antibodies specific to its viral surface proteins. Gold nanoparticles will be functionalized with antibodies and stabilized in a colloidal suspension that, along with a single-use sample processing apparatus and a portable colorimeter, will be used to detect colour changes that quantify relative surface viral load. The RDT will provide a quick method to monitor the presence of SARS- CoV2 and verify a surface cleaning procedure, thereby
diminishing infection spread and standardizing best practices across facilities.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ishwar Puri;Rakesh P Sahu


Sarah Mishriki;Srivatsa Aithal


Genemis Laboratories


Engineering - biomedical




McMaster University



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