Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2021

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COIVD-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a highly infectious respiratory illness. Within just a few months, it spread around the whole world and became a global pandemic. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) works as a gold standard method diagnosing COVID-19 with high sensitivity and specificity. But due to the programs of RT-PCR, it usually takes more than 24 hours to get the results while specialized devices are also required. False-negative results can happen as well using RT-PCR which increase the risk of spreading coronavirus. To promote quicker detection of COVID-19, we would like to demonstrate a novel DNA-RNA hybrid based fluor-immunoassay for diagnosis of viral RNA. With plasmonic flour (PF) which was previously developed by our lab, we managed to use the assay to detect the COVID-19 viral RNA accurately and rapidly. Compared with conventional fluor, PF can exhibit up to thousands-fold brighter signal, which make it capable of detecting very low concentration of viral RNA. The time cost of the detection can be reduced to several hours without using advanced devices. Since free of amplifying steps, we managed to reduce the chance of false positive or false negative. By doing this, both quick detection and early-stage confirmation of infection can be enabled which can become a powerful tool in helping control the spread of COVID-19.


English (en)


Dr. Srikanth Singamaneni

Committee Members

Dr. Srikanth Singamaneni Dr. Jai Rudra Dr. Michael Vahey