Development of paper-based Rapid Diagnostic Kit for COVID-19

Until an effective vaccine becomes widely available for COVID-19, a frequent home test of the coronavirus on a weekly basis might become a new norm. Therefore, developing rapid, accurate, stable, and cost-effective tests is critical for combatting the spread of COVID-19 over the long term. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides that can be selected from a large DNA library to bind to many target molecules. They can overcome the problems associated with antibodies since DNA is highly stable, cost-effective with a little batch-to-batch variation. However, aptamer sequences for COVID-19 viral proteins are not yet available. Therefore, we aim to isolate such aptamers to fill in this gap. The industry partner, ChitoLytic will provide chitosan and other functionalized paper surfaces for paper-based biosensor development. They already have acquired a patented technology that demonstrated the detection of lipids on a paper-based microfluidic device. Chitolytic platform will be tested for our proposed aptamer-based detection of COVID. The expected outcome is a paper-based colorimetric assay using aptamers for specific binding of the COVID-19 virus in the saliva, thus aiming to develop the first paper-based biosensor for the detection of COVID-19 virus in the saliva.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sushanta Mitra;Juewen Liu


Sunil Walia







University of Waterloo



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