Project

The development and implementation of a COVId-19 scFv-TRAP portfolio for diagnostic and therapeutic applications

Acronym
COVITRAP
Code
3G0G3421
Duration
01 December 2021 → 30 November 2023
Funding
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Nanobiotechnology
    • Nanophotonics
    • Biosensors
    • Photodetectors, optical sensors and solar cells
    • Medical biotechnology diagnostics
Keywords
Infectious Diseases optical sensors antibody Covid diagnostic laser technology microfluidic
 
Project description

During the project COVITRAP, we will develop a portfolio of scFv antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, a diagnostic tool for virus detection and a scFv-polymer as therapeutics. The antibodies will serve as integral parts of the diagnostic device, where they are immobilized to capture viral particles, and the polymeric inhibitor in which the binding to a virus is realized by the scFvs. All project partners will start the project with scFvs already established at UNPAD while the Indonesian partner optimizes the antibodies. To maximize our understanding of the scFvs, biophysical epitope screening (i.e. SPR) will be complemented with structural analysis using cryo-EM. This information will enable us to select the maximal variable scFv portfolio (i.e. different binding sites of the SARS-CoV-2 surface proteins) and meanwhile also indicate which part of the scFvs (i.e. domains and/or amino acids) has to be accessible for virus binding in order to develop the most efficient diagnostic device and therapeutic scaffold. The glass based diagnostic tool contains miniaturized detection systems based on DLS and absorbance spectrophotometry which, together with the immobilized scFvs, could boost the sensitivity of virus detection and therefore also greatly facilitating sample collection. The scFv-polymer therapeutic will be designed with a site-specific functionalization chemistry in order to maximize virus binding by an oriented incorporation of the scFvs. Scaffolds with multiple antibodies within one polymer chain are promising as virus inhibitor by efficient binding to a virus due to multivalent presentation of scFvs and flexibility of the polymeric backbone.