In this days, the Journal of Nature Nanotechnology publishes a new paper entitled as “Multiplexed reverse-transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction using plasmonic nanoparticles for point-of-care COVID-19 diagnosis”
Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) offers the capabilities of real-time monitoring of amplified products, fast detection, and quantitation of infectious units, but poses technical hurdles for point-of-care miniaturization compared with end-point polymerase chain reaction. Here we demonstrate plasmonic thermocycling, in which rapid heating of the solution is achieved via infrared excitation of nanoparticles, successfully performing reverse-transcriptase qPCR (RT-qPCR) in a reaction vessel containing polymerase chain reaction chemistry, fluorescent probes and plasmonic nanoparticles. The method could rapidly detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA from human saliva and nasal specimens with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, as well as two distinct SARS-CoV-2 variants. The use of small optical components for both thermocycling and multiplexed fluorescence monitoring renders the instrument amenable to point-of-care use. Overall, this study demonstrates that plasmonic nanoparticles with compact optics can be used to achieve real-time and multiplexed RT-qPCR on clinical specimens, towards the goal of rapid and accurate molecular clinical diagnostics in decentralized settings.