Application note

Rapid identification and development of SARS-CoV-2 selective Optimers®


Highly sensitive pathogen detection in national wastewater systems with Optimer®

Customer need: To enable rapid pandemic responses and ongoing continuous monitoring our partner required affinity ligands selective for SARS-CoV-2 to enable sensitive biosensor detection of the virus in wastewater systems.


Aptamer Group approach: Optimer binders were developed to SARS-CoV-2 in 17 days and sent to the customer for evaluation on their biosensor platform. Trials in parallel with alternative affinity ligands showed Optimer technology yielded the highest sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater analysis, with detection at fg levels in wastewater. Our ongoing validation showed the ability to detect all World Health Organisation designated SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern using the single Optimer binder.


Customer benefit: Rapid development enabled pandemic responsiveness to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. High sensitivity of the Optimer binders enabled reduced binder levels to be used on the biosensor surface for increased cost efficiencies. Ongoing validation ensured that the wastewater monitoring system was able to detect all emerging variants for effective, continuous monitoring. This Optimer®-enabled detection system has been installed at six separate sites within the UK wastewater system for continuous pathogen monitoring.