Navigation Links
New tool detects Ebola, Marburg quickly, easily
Date:11/22/2010

BOSTON (11-22-10) -- Boston University researchers have developed a simple diagnostic tool that can quickly identify dangerous viruses like Ebola and Marburg. The biosensor, which is the size of a quarter and can detect viruses in a blood sample, could be used in developing nations, airports and other places where natural or man-made outbreaks could erupt.

"By enabling ultra-portable and fast detection, our technology can directly impact the course of our reaction against bio-terrorism threats and dramatically improve our capability to confine viral outbreaks," said Assistant Professor Hatice Altug of the Boston University College of Engineering, who co-led the research team with Assistant Professor John Connor of the Boston University School of Medicine.

Traditional virus diagnostic tools are effective, but require significant infrastructure and sample preparation time. The new biosensor developed at Boston University directly detects live viruses from biological media with little to no sample preparation. The breakthrough is detailed in the Nov. 5 online edition of Nano Letters.

From bird flu to H1N1, outbreaks of fast-spreading viral diseases in recent years have sparked concern of pandemics similar to the 1918 Spanish Flu that caused more than 50 million deaths. A significant fraction of today's viral threats are viruses that use RNA to replicate. Individuals infected with these viruses often show symptoms that are not virus-specific, making them difficult to diagnose. Among them are hemorrhagic fever viruses, such as Ebola and Marburg, which could be used as bio-warfare agents. Critical to identifying and containing future epidemics of RNA-based viruses is the development of rapid, sensitive diagnostic techniques that healthcare providers can quickly deploy so that infected individuals can be quickly identified and treated.

Partly funded through the Boston University Photonics Center and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and working in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, the team has demonstrated reliable detection of hemorrhagic fever virus surrogates (i.e. for the Ebola virus) and pox viruses (such as monkeypox or smallpox) in ordinary biological laboratory settings.

"Our platform can be easily adapted for point-of-care diagnostics to detect a broad range of viral pathogens in resource-limited clinical settings at the far corners of the world, in defense and homeland security applications as well as in civilian settings such as airports," said Altug.

Connor noted an additional, significant advantage of the new technology. "It will be relatively easy to develop a diagnostic device that simultaneously tests for several different viruses," he observed. "This could be extremely helpful in providing the proper diagnosis."

The new biosensor is the first to detect intact viruses by exploiting plasmonic nanohole arrays, or arrays of apertures with diameters of about 200 to 350 nanometers on metallic films that transmit light more strongly at certain wavelengths. When a live virus in a sample solution, such as blood or serum, binds to the sensor surface, the refractive index in the close vicinity of the sensor changes, causing a detectable shift in the resonance frequency of the light transmitted through the nanoholes. The magnitude of that shift reveals the presence and concentration of the virus in the solution.

"Unlike PCR and ELISA approaches, our method does not require enzymatic amplification of a signal or fluorescent tagging of a product, so samples can be read immediately following pathogen binding," said Altug. Ahmet Yanik, Altug's research associate who conducted the experiments, added, "Our platform can detect not only the presence of the intact viruses in the analyzed samples, but also indicate the intensity of the infection process."

The researchers are now working on a highly portable version of their biosensor platform using microfluidic technology designed for use in the field with minimal training.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Seele
mseele@bu.edu
617-694-3568
Boston University College of Engineering
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Army-funded technology detects bacteria in water
2. Microfluidics-imaging platform detects cancer growth signaling in minute biopsy samples
3. New technique reliably detects enzyme implicated in cancer and atherosclerosis
4. Stream water study detects thawing permafrost
5. New sensor array detects single molecules for the first time
6. Prototype NIST method detects and measures elusive hazards
7. Novel handheld device detects anthrax with outstanding accuracy and reliability
8. Autonomous robot detects shrapnel
9. Test detects molecular marker of aging in humans
10. New device detects heart disease using less than one drop of blood
11. NASA satellite detects red glow to map global ocean plant health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/11/2016)... CHICAGO , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, ... via nearly 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, ... than $40 million from existing investors. ... will be devoted to further innovate higi,s health ... app and web portal – including expanding services ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... , Jan. 7, 2016 This BCC Research ... for biometric technologies and devices, identifying newer markets and ... various types of biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 ... Identify newer markets and explore the expansion of the ... Examine each type of biometric technology, determine its current ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... 2016  Varam Capital, a provider of micro-finance inclusion ... deliver advanced authentication solutions to their clients. Varam supplies ... A loan of a few thousand rupees may make ... ability to purchase livestock or equipment for a small ... for a local store. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Franz Inc. ... Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best in Semantic Web Technology ... , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase prominent professionals who are ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 3, 2016  With ... current patent cliff that is underway, therapies such ... vaccines for a whole host of indications are ... to aid in the development and production of ... yields, poor quality and high costs, novel approaches ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... validating a series of potential targets (epitopes) specific to misfolded, propagating strains of ... to create specific monoclonal antibody therapeutics for Alzheimer’s. , Following on from the ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Buffalo, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 03, 2016 ... ... several new products to aid in the rapid development and ongoing quality control ... the Zika Virus outbreak is extremely high,” Dr. Gregory R. Chiklis, President and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: