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SARS-CoV-2 Research Solutions, Serology Testing, & Vaccine Development

Bio-Techne is committed to supporting our customers including scientists who are working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Our next-generation western blotting solutions with Simple Western™ can help accelerate COVID-19 research and serology testing by enabling rapid, highly sensitive, and automated detection of proteins and serum antibodies involved in viral pathogenesis and host immune response.

SARS-CoV-2 Research Solutions with Simple Western

SARS-CoV-2 research solutions Simple Western assays are automated, hands-free western blotting platforms that can be used for antigen-down serological assays for SARS-CoV-2. Simple Western systems like Jess™ and Abby™ can process 25 samples in 3 hours and offers the ability to use viral antigen ladders to measure serum antibodies reactive against multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens simultaneously and provide information-rich views into differences in antibody binding patterns across patients. This approach also has promise as an orthogonal confirmatory test to validate results derived from lateral flow, ELISA or other immunoassay serology techniques.

Jess Instrument Simple Western

SARS-CoV-2 Serology Testing

Simple Western SARS CoV-2 Multi Antigen Serology Module WorkFlow

How Simple Western Serology Assays Work

Serological assays on Simple Western load and separate a mixture of viral antigens according to their molecular weight. Simple Western is an open platform and users can utilize any antigens of relevance to their studies for serum antibody capture. Antigens can be recombinant viral proteins or viral lysates. After separation, viral antigens are immobilized using a proprietary immobilization chemistry. After immobilization, serum or plasma is introduced and IgG antibodies in the collected serum or plasma bind to the immobilized antigens. Anti-IgG, anti-IgM or other class- or isotype-specific secondary antibodies conjugated with HRP or a fluorescent tag can be used for detection.

Using a mixture of recombinant viral proteins or viral lysates in a serological assay may enable users to distinguish non-specific interactions and also provide rich insights into the relative binding capacity for several viral proteins in one run, providing increased confidence in results and a deeper understanding of the patient immune response.


The SARS-CoV-2 Multi-Antigen Serology Module

The SARS-CoV-2 Multi-Antigen Serology Module for Jess and Abby is an antigen down serological assay capable of detecting IgG serum antibodies reactive against 5 key viral antigens. Recombinant viral antigens are mixed and separated by size to create a ladder for capture of reactive serum antibodies. The module delivers the flexibility to utilize multiple viral antigens including the addition of proprietary vaccine antigens, providing more information about antibody binding profiles in each patient. Multiple patient samples can be processed in each 3-hour run, arming scientists with SARS-CoV-2 research solutions to characterize variability in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.

Multi SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Serological Assay data set

The Simple Western SARS-CoV-2 serological assay demonstrates differential patient reactivity to N, S1 RBD, S1 full length, S2 full length, and Spike (S1+S2) COVID-19 viral antigens using a Jess or Abby automated western blot system. A viral antigen ladder was used and tested with different PCR+ SARS-CoV-2 patient serum samples. SARS-CoV-2 positive serum samples were loaded onto a  Jess or Abby and human primary antibodies specific to each viral antigen were detected using an Anti-Human IgG HRP-conjugated secondary antibody (DM-005). The data is represented by quantitative analysis of relative peak areas.

The SARS-CoV-2 Multi-Antigen Serology Module provides all the antigens, controls, and diluents needed to develop your serological assay to detect serum antibodies reactive against recombinant Nucleocapsid protein (N), S1 Receptor Binding Domain protein (RBD), S1 subunit full length, S2 subunit full length, and Spike (S1+S2) viral antigens.

Learn how RAIN Incubator scientist, Shah A. K. Mohamed Bakhash, use our SARS-CoV-2 research solutions to quickly compare human immune responses to five key viral antigens across a wide range of sample types, temporal serum draws, and dilutions.


COVID-19 Pathogenesis

Simple Western assays for COVID-19 research provide highly sensitive and quantitative measurement of SARS-CoV-2 host proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in human tissue and cell lysate samples. ACE2 binds the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 as an entry receptor. Cellular serine protease TMPRSS2 cleaves the Spike receptor at S1/S2 and S2’ sites to enable S2 mediated cell fusion and infection.

In this application note, Bio-Techne antibodies targeting ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were used in Simple Western assays that were highly sensitive over a large dynamic range, providing molecular weight information and even quantification of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in human cells. These assays are valuable COVID-19 research in the development of targeted therapies and to assess ACE2/TMPRSS2 density in various sample types as a measure of infection susceptibility.

Sars-Cov-2 Coronavirus Protein
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From Your Peers

"It saves so much time! It takes away so much of the pipetting and manipulation error. You just load your samples and wait for results, and in the meantime, you can dedicate yourself to other activities."

- Nicolas G. Bazan, MD, PhD, Director of Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health New Orleans, New Orleans

Dr. Bazan's laboratory used Simple Western's Jess to reveal a link between Elovanoids and ACE2 expression, presenting a new possible strategy to prevent and treat COVID-19. 

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Development

A Solution for End-to-End Vaccine Manufacturing

Traditional immunoassays in vaccine development, like ELISA and single radial immunodiffusion (SRD), do not separate proteins by molecular weight before detection and quantitation. Therefore, the final reported concentration of an intact antigen may include truncates and aggregates non-specifically bound by the primary antibody. Simple Western merges the separative performance of capillary electrophoresis with high-specificity immunodetection. Its advantages over the traditional immunoassay include limited hands-on steps, fast-turnaround time, high sensitivity, automatic data analysis, and accurate intact antigen quantitation. Studies on vaccine development that use Simple Western include quantitation of residual BSA in the final vaccine product, residual toxicity assays via enzymatic analysis for new vaccine development, and vaccine glycoprotein characterization throughout the manufacturing process.

Vaccine development process
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From Your Peers

Simple Western allowed me to screen quickly lots of samples with different antibodies while eliminating the manual washing and incubation steps.” 

- Dr. Matteo Ferrari, Postdoc, DIOSynVax, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Traditional ELISA is labor-intensive, with many hands-on steps throughout the procedure. By contrast, Simple Western technology is fully automated, leading to increased precision and reduced analyst benchwork. Simple Western’s rapid and reliable quantitation makes it suitable for supporting the development of vaccines in response to pandemics. Simple Western has a small footprint and does not require a supply of water or nitrogen, making it suitable to use at-line manufacturing at stages where decision-making is critical for the process, such as upstream fermentation and end-to-end process analysis within in-process samples and vaccines.

Artistic image of spike protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 virus