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Development of a genomagnetic sensor for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva samples

Grant number: 21/14139-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2022
Effective date (End): June 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Ronaldo Censi Faria
Grantee:Wyllian Neves Miranda
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


With the pandemic declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, measures such as diagnosis and isolation have become essential to reduce the number of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2. Due to high costs, limited accessibility and insufficient number of diagnoses performed, Brazil remains one of the countries that least examines its population. This project aims to develop assays for the detection of RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva samples using disposable electrochemical devices for the diagnosis of COVID-19. Based on the previous experience of our research group in the area of sensors and biosensors, we intend to develop a simple, fast and low-cost method for detecting viral RNA. The assay will be based on the use of magnetic particles decorated with capture DNA probes, and gold nanoparticles that will be conjugated with DNA probes for the detection and quantification of the virus' genetic material via electrochemical techniques without the need for amplification steps. Methods that show promise can be applied to real samples and compared to the standard RT-PCR method. The project is at an advanced stage and very promising results have been obtained, so this request for a transition to the Direct Doctorate will be important for the completion of the project and also, for the candidate's education. (AU)

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