PI Name & Affiliation:

Dr. V V Raghavendra Sai,
Department of Applied Mechanics,
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Co-PI Name & Affiliation:

Dr. Jitendra Satija,
Centre for Nanobiotechnology,
Vellore Institute of Technology, India

Funding Agency: SERB

Scheme: CoVID-19

Overlay: Rs. 21,48,408

Duration of the Project: 12 Months

Dr. V V Raghavendra Sai


Dr. Jitendra Satija

Associate Professor


Project Description

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), already has a major impact globally since the first case reported from China in December 2019. To curb the community spread of this deadly virus, identification of infected people (with or without symptoms) and their isolation, appropriate treatment, and contact tracing have been found very useful. Currently, the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique is used to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which usually takes a few hours for the analysis. However, its wide-scale deployment in resource-constrained settings is limited due to the high cost and requirement of trained personnel. Hence, in this project, we envisage developing a point-of-care fiber-optic biosensor which will enable the low-cost and rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 with high specificity. The biosensor relies on the sandwich immunoassay based specific detection of a viral protein, i.e. N-protein that is unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and usually present in abundance in the patient’s saliva sample at the early stage of infection.