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
UVA Reveals How a Cancer-Causing Virus Clings to Human DNA Like a Burr to a Sock
on April 19, 2018 at 7:02 am
“Now, for the first time,” Kedes said, "it's OK to say, ‘Let’s focus on structures that are vital to the virus that before were below the limits of our standard methods of detection within infected cells.’” The work was supported by the ... […]
Use of ‘StegWare’ Increases in Stealth Malware Attacks
on April 19, 2018 at 6:40 am
“They might be hiding dangerous code, a command-and-control channel or using it to exfiltrate sensitive data without detection.” In a separate report by IBM X-Force, in November researchers identified three malware samples in network attacks containing ... […]
ProtectWorks Antivirus for Mac review: Not enough protection to warrant recommendation
on April 19, 2018 at 4:05 am
That said, the app focuses entirely on virus detection and quarantining, offering no extras like networking filtering or intrusion protection found in other antivirus packages. Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details ... […]
Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac review: Solid malware prevention with no frills
on April 19, 2018 at 4:05 am
Trend Micro’s Antivirus for Mac offers solid malware detection and deterrence in a simple package with a straightforward interface. AV-Test found in its testing that it detected 99.5 percent of macOS malware, over 95 percent of macOS potentially ... […]
Malware That Can Format Hard Drives Infects 50,000 Minecraft Accounts
on April 18, 2018 at 11:13 pm
With the malware hosted on the official Minecraft domain, any detection triggered could be misinterpreted by users as a false positive,” Avast says. Once a computer is compromised by the malware, users could see messages like “You Are Nailed ... […]
via Google News and Bing News