Development of polypyrrole (nano)structures decorated with gold nanoparticles toward immunosensing for COVID-19 serological diagnosis

Publish date :

Jun 1, 2022


The rapid and reliable detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroconversion in humans is crucial for suitable infection control. In this sense, many studies have focused on increasing the sensibility, lowering the detection limits and minimizing false negative/positive results. Thus, biosensors based on nanoarchitectures of conducting polymers are promising alternatives to more traditional materials since they can hold improved surface area, higher electrical conductivity and electrochemical activity. In this work, we reported the analytical comparison of two different conducting polymers morphologies for the development of an impedimetric biosensor to monitor SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans. Biosensors based on polypyrrole (PPy), synthesized in both globular and nanotubular (NT) morphology, and gold nanoparticles are reported, using a self-assembly monolayer of 3-mercaptopropionic acid and covalently linked SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid protein. First, the novel hybrid materials were characterized by electron microscopy and electrochemical measurements, and the biosensor step-by-step construction was characterized by electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques. As a proof of concept, the biosensor was used for the impedimetric detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid protein monoclonal antibodies. The results showed a linear response for different antibody concentrations, good sensibility and possibility to quantify 7.442 and 0.4 ng/mL of monoclonal antibody for PPy in the globular and NT morphology, respectively. The PPy-NTs biosensor was able to discriminate serum obtained from COVID-19 positive versus negative clinical samples and is a promising tool for COVID-19 immunodiagnostic, which can contribute to further studies concerning rapid, efficient, and reliable detections.