A system composed of two different types of nanoparticles can be used to accurately, sensitively and quickly detect viruses.
The earlier a viral infection is detected, the more effective the treatment. Currently available tests are accurate but require a long time and/or specialized personnel, which are not a given in many outbreak settings. To address this, a team of researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University developed a biosensor that detects Ebola and avian influenza subtype H7 viruses.
The team prepared gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) carrying ‘probes’ derived from the viral sample being tested. They also tagged ‘upconversion nanoparticles’ (UCNPs), which emit green light when hit by a near infrared laser, with probes specific for influenza virus H7 or Ebola. If the sample contains one of the two viruses, the two types of nanoparticles interact, causing the green light emitted by the laser-targeted UCNPs to dim. This process takes place in a short period of time (two hours in the case of the influenza test) and is quantifiable.
The system has proven to be very specific: using viral samples on the AuNPs that were only slightly different from the UCNP viral-specific tags did not yield results. The researchers then anchored the nanoparticles on a nanoporous alumina platform instead of having the two components in liquid solution. This increased the sensitivity of the assay and enabled the detection of ‘femtomolar’ amounts of virus: equivalent to the lower limit of detection in tests currently used in clinical practice. This is a crucial level of sensitivity, especially in the case of Ebola where early treatment can save lives.
The team is now planning to test the device on various subtypes of influenza and then move on to the fabrication of a multi-target detection platform that can simultaneously detect various subtypes of influenza viruses. The system is still at the research and development stage, but the researchers think it may become available in two to three years.
Learn more: Using nanoparticles to detect deadly viruses
The Latest on: Virus detection
- Smart Cities, Big Problems? The Risk of Malware in IoT-Enabled Infrastructure on April 27, 2017 at 4:02 am
While it’s impossible to design impenetrable infrastructure, the combination of basic security hygiene with cloud-based detection and remediation tools makes it possible for cities to get advance warning of malware threats, respond appropriately and ... […]
- Webroot antivirus mistakenly flags Windows as malware on April 27, 2017 at 3:29 am
The balance between detection, action and false positives is a fine one ... The Windows system files, marked as general malware, were then quarantined and left some applications unable to function. Users were prevented from visiting those sites. […]
- A robust and cost-effective approach to sequence and analyze complete genomes of small RNA viruses on April 27, 2017 at 3:12 am
The use of sequence-independent amplification of viral nucleic acids without utilization of target-specific primers provides advantages over traditional sequencing methods and allows detection of ... widely used for small RNA viruses because of incorrectly ... […]
- New chip is developed to detect dengue virus on April 26, 2017 at 2:34 pm
Strategies to defeat these epidemics include prevention by combating the various species of mosquito that transmit the viruses concerned ... films of bacterial cellulose nanocrystals for dengue detection” (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios. […]
- Webroot Antivirus Misidentifies Windows as Threat, Shuts Down Computers on April 26, 2017 at 9:40 am
Webroot confirmed on a support forum that an updated detection rule had flagged crucial Windows operating files as “false positives” in the system. It proceeded to “quarantine” the data from being accessed by the rest of the OS, stopping the ... […]
via Google News and Bing News