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Rapid COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostic System Using Virus Enrichment Platform

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2, is rapidly spreading and severely straining the capacities of public health communities and systems around the world. Therefore, accurate, rapid, and robust diagnostic tests for COVID-19 are crucial to prevent further spread of the infection, alleviate the burden on healthcare and diagnostic facilities, and ensure timely therapeutic intervention. To date, several detection methods based on nucleic acid amplification have been developed for the rapid and accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2. Despite the myriad of advancements in the detection methods for SARS-CoV-2, rapid sample preparation methods for RNA extraction from viruses have rarely been explored. Here, we report a rapid COVID-19 molecular diagnostic system that combines a self-powered sample preparation assay and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) based naked-eye detection method for the rapid and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2. The self-powered sample preparation assay with a hydrophilic polyvinylidene fluoride filter and dimethyl pimelimidate can be operated by hand, without the use of any sophisticated instrumentation, similar to the reverse transcription (RT)-LAMP-based lateral flow assay for the naked-eye detection of SARS-CoV-2. The COVID-19 molecular diagnostic system enriches the virus population, extracts and amplifies the target RNA, and detects SARS-CoV-2 within 60 min. We validated the accuracy of the system by using 23 clinical nasopharyngeal specimens. We envision that this proposed system will enable simple, facile, efficient, and inexpensive diagnosis of COVID-19 at home and the clinic as a pre-screening platform to reduce the burden on the medical staff in this pandemic era.

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