Affordable on-site COVID-19 test using non-powered preconcentrator

Jinhwan Kim, Cheonjung Kim, Jeong Soo Park, Na Eun Lee, Seungmin Lee, Sung Yeon Cho, Chulmin Park, Dae Sung Yoon, Yong Kyoung Yoo, Jeong Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A simple, affordable point of care test (POCT) is necessary for on-site detection of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The lateral flow assay (LFA) has great potential for use in POCT mainly because of factors such as low time consumption, low cost, and ease of use. However, it lacks sensitivity and limits of detection (LOD), which are essential for early diagnostics. In this study, we proposed a non-powered preconcentrator (NPP) based on nanoelectrokinetics for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Antigen (Ag) lateral flow assay. The non-powered preconcentrator is composed of glass fiber-based composite paper and ion permselective material, and it can be simply operated by force balancing gravitational, capillary, and depletion-induced forces. The proposed approach helps enrich the SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleocapsid (N) proteins based on a 10-min operation, and it improved the LOD by up to 10-fold. The corresponding virus enrichment, which was evaluated using the reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), revealed an improvement in ΔCt values > 3. We successfully demonstrated the enhancement of the NPP-assisted LFA, we extended to applying it to clinical samples. Further, we demonstrated an affordable, easy-to-implement form of LFA by simply designing NPP directly on the LFA buffer tube.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114965
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2021M3E5E3080743 ). J.H. Lee was supported by a research grant from Kwangwoon University in 2022.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • COVID-19
  • Enrichment
  • LFA
  • Preconcentrator
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sample treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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