Virus Detection: From State-of-the-Art Laboratories to Smartphone-Based Point-of-Care Testing

Meng Xiao, Feng Tian, Xin Liu, Qiaoqiao Zhou, Jiangfei Pan, Zhaofan Luo, Mo Yang, Changqing Yi

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Infectious virus outbreaks pose a significant challenge to public healthcare systems. Early and accurate virus diagnosis is critical to prevent the spread of the virus, especially when no specific vaccine or effective medicine is available. In clinics, the most commonly used viral detection methods are molecular techniques that involve the measurement of nucleic acids or proteins biomarkers. However, most clinic-based methods require complex infrastructure and expensive equipment, which are not suitable for low-resource settings. Over the past years, smartphone-based point-of-care testing (POCT) has rapidly emerged as a potential alternative to laboratory-based clinical diagnosis. This review summarizes the latest development of virus detection. First, laboratory-based and POCT-based viral diagnostic techniques are compared, both of which rely on immunosensing and nucleic acid detection. Then, various smartphone-based POCT diagnostic techniques, including optical biosensors, electrochemical biosensors, and other types of biosensors are discussed. Moreover, this review covers the development of smartphone-based POCT diagnostics for various viruses including COVID-19, Ebola, influenza, Zika, HIV, et al. Finally, the prospects and challenges of smartphone-based POCT diagnostics are discussed. It is believed that this review will aid researchers better understand the current challenges and prospects for achieving the ultimate goal of containing disease-causing viruses worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2105904
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022


  • biosensors
  • laboratory-based diagnostics
  • point-of-care testing
  • smartphones
  • virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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