Electrochemical sensing: A prognostic tool in the fight against COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the world, despite all efforts in infection control and treatment/vaccine development. Hospitals are currently overcrowded, with health statuses of patients often being hard to gauge. Therefore, methods for determining infection severity need to be developed so that high-risk patients can be prioritized, resources can be efficiently distributed, and fatalities can be prevented. Electrochemical prognostic biosensing of various biomarkers may hold promise in solving these problems as they are low-cost and provide timely results. Therefore, we have reviewed the literature and extracted the most promising biomarkers along with their most favourable electrochemical sensors. The biomarkers discussed in this paper are C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukins (ILs), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interferons (IFNs), glutamate, breath pH, lymphocytes, platelets, neutrophils and D-dimer. Metabolic syndrome is also discussed as comorbidity for COVID-19 patients, as it increases infection severity and raises chances of becoming infected. Cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), are discussed as a potential adjunct therapy for COVID-19 as their medicinal properties may be desirable in minimizing the neurodegenerative or severe inflammatory damage caused by severe COVID-19 infection. Currently, hospitals are struggling to provide adequate care; thus, point-of-care electrochemical sensor development needs to be prioritized to provide an approximate prognosis for hospital patients. During and following the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, electrochemical sensors can also be integrated into wearable and portable devices to help patients monitor recovery while returning to their daily lives. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, these sensors will also prove useful for monitoring inflammation-based diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Biofluids; COVID-19; Cannabinoids; Electrochemical sensors; Health monitoring; Inflammatory biomarkers; Metabolic syndrome; Pathophysiology; Prognostic tools; Wearable and portable devices.