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Review 1: "Sensing of COVID-19 Antibodies in Seconds via Aerosol Jet Printed Three Dimensional Electrodes"

Reviewer: Stuart Williams (University of Louisville) | 📘📘📘📘📘

Published onApr 13, 2022
Review 1: "Sensing of COVID-19 Antibodies in Seconds via Aerosol Jet Printed Three Dimensional Electrodes"
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key-enterThis Pub is a Review of
Sensing of COVID-19 Antibodies in Seconds via Aerosol Jet Printed Three Dimensional Electrodes

AbstractRapid diagnosis is critical for the treatment and prevention of diseases. In this research, we report sensing of antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 virus in seconds via an electrochemical platform consisting of gold micropillar array electrodes decorated with reduced graphene oxide and functionalized with recombinant viral antigens. The array electrodes are fabricated by Aerosol Jet (AJ) nanoparticle 3D printing, where gold nanoparticles (3-5nm) are assembled in 3D space, sintered, and integrated with a microfluidic device. The device is shown to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 protein and its receptor-binding-domain (RBD) at concentrations down to 1pM via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and read by a smartphone-based user interface. In addition, the sensor can be regenerated within a minute by introducing a low-pH chemistry that elutes the antibodies from the antigens, allowing successive testing of multiple antibody samples using the same sensor. The detection time for the two antibodies tested in this work is 11.5 seconds. S1 protein sensing of its antibodies is specific, which cross-reacts neither with other antibodies nor with proteins such as Nucleocapsid antibody and Interleukin-6 protein. The proposed sensing platform is generic and can also be used for the rapid detection of biomarkers for other infectious agents such as Ebola, HIV, and Zika, which will benefit the public health.

RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:

  • Strong. The main study claims are very well-justified by the data and analytic methods used. There is little room for doubt that the study produced has very similar results and conclusions as compared with the hypothetical ideal study. The study’s main claims should be considered conclusive and actionable without reservation.


In brief, the work presented is clearly written, and experimental procedures are detailed and thorough.

Here are some comments that need to be addressed:

  1. The introductory paragraphs emphasize virus detection. This platform does not detect viruses and, thus, the authors should not mislead the readers. I recommend that language inferring virus detection should be removed or minimized. Thus, background discussions on virus detection schemes are not relevant.

  1. Although regeneration is an interesting concept, I do not think clinicians will utilize this feature. Typically, clinical detection tests are one-time use. I recommend that the authors provide some literature-based evidence of multiple-use clinical/diagnostic tests in order to further strengthen this characteristic of their system. Otherwise, the authors need to reduce their emphasis on the regenerative feature.

  2. The authors ‘claim of “The 3DcD device… is faster than any data yet reported in literature” is false and cannot be proved. For example, how does it compare to “Rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using electrochemical impedance-based detector”? In that work, it appears that their detection spike occurs in less than five seconds (perhaps less than one second – see Fig. S1). (

In addition, there are some minor comments: a)‘pbs’ needs to be capitalized to ‘PBS’ b)The purpose of the counter electrode (CE) is unclear.


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