Point-of-care system for rapid real-time detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus based on commercially available Arduino platforms

Huynh Van Ngoc, Than Linh Quyen, Aaydha Chidambara Vinayaka, Dang Duong Bang, Anders Wolff*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of rapid, portable, and on-site testing technologies necessary for resource-limited settings for effective testing and screening to reduce spreading of the infection. Realizing this, we developed a fluorescence-based point-of-care (fPOC) detection system with real-time reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification for rapid and quantitative detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. The system is built based on the Arduino platform compatible with commercially available open-source hardware–software and off-the-shelf electronic components. The fPOC system comprises of three main components: 1) an instrument with integrated heaters, 2) optical detection components, and 3) an injection-molded polymeric cartridge. The system was tested and experimentally proved to be able to use for fast detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in real-time in less than 30 min. Preliminary results of testing the performance of the fPOC revealed that the fPOC could detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at a limit of detection (LOD50%) at two to three copies/microliter (15.36 copies/reaction), which was comparable to reactions run on a standard commercial thermocycler. The performance of the fPOC was evaluated with 12 SARS-CoV-2 clinical throat swab samples that included seven positive and five negative samples, as confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. The fPOC showed 100% agreement with the commercial thermocycler. This simple design of the fPOC system demonstrates the potential to greatly enhance the practical applicability to develop a totally integrated point-of-care system for rapid on-site screening of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the management of the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number917573
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Point-of-care
  • Fluorescence detection
  • SARS-cov-2
  • COVID-19
  • Loop-mediated isothermal amplification
  • Lab-on-chip
  • Open-source
  • Software-hardware
  • Rapid diagnostic


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