ACS Sens. 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.0c01463. Online ahead of print.
The acceleration of climatic, digital and health challenges is testing scientific communities. Scientists must provide concrete answers in terms of technological solutions to a society which expects immediate returns on the public investment. We are living such a scenario on a global scale with the pandemic crisis of COVID-19 where expectations for virological and serological diagnosis tests have been and are still gigantic. In this article, we focus on a class of biosensors (mechanical biosensors) which are ubiquitous in the literature in the form of high performance, sensitive, selective, low cost biological analysis systems. The spectacular development announced in their performances in the last 20 years suggested the possibility of finding these mechanical sensors on the front line of the COVID-19 but the reality was quite different. We analyze the cause of this rendez-vous manqué, the operational criteria that kept these biosensors away from the field and we indicate the pitfalls to avoid in the future in the development of all types of biosensors of which the ultimate goal is to be immediately operational for the intended application.