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18. Sep 2023

Coronavirus: Researchers develop new rapid and reliable detection method

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Here you find the doctoral student’s profile of Lydia Kollhoff. She published results of her doctoral studies at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and shared the research more widely with a press release.

About the author:

L. Kollhoff in the lab.
  • Lydia Kollhoff ORCHID, Twitter
  • Research areas: Analytical Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry, Proteomics
  • Institute of Pharmacy, MLU

Field(s) of expertise during doctoral studies:

  • Analytical strategies for SARS-CoV-2 testing
  • Structural elucidation of proteins by mass spectrometry

Curriculum Vitae

  • Doctoral studies in the group Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Bioanalytics of Prof. Dr. Andrea Sinz at MLU
  • Diploma in Food Chemistry at MLU in 2020

Challenges, rewards and contribution

Q: What was your most important contribution to the publication?
A: Developing the sample preparation workflow which had to be fast, specific and compatible with the MALDI-ToF MS measurement at the same time.

Q: What was challenging and what was a rewarding moment during your work presented in the publication?
A: The biggest challenge was to improve sensitivity. Background signals can influence the signal intensities of our analytes and reduce sensitivity. We had to find a way to reduce those background signals to a minimum.

Finding out our method is suitable for distinguishing the delta-variant of SARS-CoV-2 from other viral variants was one of the most rewarding moments during the work.

Significance of publication

Commercially available mass spectrometers can reliably detect the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Researchers from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) present a new method which employs equipment that is already being used in hospitals and laboratories to detect bacterial and fungal infections. It takes just two hours from swab to result. According to the team, the approach can also be easily adapted to detect other pathogens and could thus help in future pandemics.

from press release no. 97/2023 of August 16, 2023

Related publication

L. Kollhoff, M. Kipping, M. Rauh, U. Ceglarek, G. Barka, F. Barka & A. Sinz
Development of a rapid and specific MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric assay for SARS-CoV-2 detection.
Clinical Proteomics 20, 26 (2023)
doi:  10.1186/s12014-023-09415-y

About this profile

Doctoral students contribute significantly to publications highlighted by the MLU press office in many cases. These early stage researchers and their work in connection with the publication are in the focus of these profiles. Please check further doctoral student’s profiles.

Are you interested in science communication and have an interesting story to tell? Get in touch with MLU’s press office at 

Über Lydia Hohlstein

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