Detection of SARS-CoV-2 with Solid-State CRISPR-Cas12a-Assisted Nanopores

Reza Nouri, Yuqian Jiang, Zifan Tang, Xiaojun Lance Lian, Weihua Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 caused the disease COVID-19 to spread globally. Specific and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 facilitates early intervention and prevents the disease from spreading. Here, we present a solid-state CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted nanopore (SCAN) sensing strategy for the specific detection of SARS-CoV-2. We introduced a nanopore-sized counting method to measure the cleavage ratio of reporters, which is used as a criterion for positive/negative classification. A kinetic cleavage model was developed and validated to predict the reporter size distributions. The model revealed the trade-offs between sensitivity, turnaround time, and false-positive rate of the SARS-CoV-2 SCAN. With preamplification and a 30 min CRISPR Cas12a assay, we achieved excellent specificity against other common human coronaviruses and a limit of detection of 13.5 copies/μL (22.5 aM) of viral RNA at a confidence level of 95%. These results suggested that the SCAN could provide a rapid, sensitive, and specific analysis of SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8393-8400
Number of pages8
JournalNano letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 13 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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