NANOTECHNOLOGY/DISEASE DETECTION: Light-scattering nanoparticles enable fast, accurate flu diagnosis - at low cost

Fast or accurate? Those are typically your choices for flu diagnosis. But a new biophotonics approach offers both speed and accuracy, and low cost as well—all things that are supremely helpful during outbreaks, especially because antiviral drugs are most effective in the early stages of disease.

Gold nanoparticles—coated with antibodies that bind to specific strains of flu virus—form the foundation of the approach. By measuring how the particles scatter laser light, University of Georgia researchers have been able to detect influenza in minutes at less than a penny per exam. “We’ve known for a long time that you can use antibodies to capture viruses and that nanoparticles have different traits based on their size,” said Ralph Tripp, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Vaccine Development in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. “What we’ve done is combine the two.”

The nanoparticle-antibody complex aggregates with any virus present in a sample. This clustering causes the scattered light to fluctuate in a predictable and measurable pattern, and a commercially available device measures the intensity. “The test is something that can be done literally at the point-of-care,” said Jeremy Driskell, who co-authored the paper describing the work. “You take your sample, put it in the instrument, hit a button and get your results.”1

The approach competes with the current standard for definitively diagnosing flu, a test known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which requires specialized labs, trained personnel, multiple days, and numerous steps. Another alternative, lateral flow assay, is cost-effective and can be used at the point-of-care, but it’s error-prone and cannot identify specific viral strains.

Tripp and Driskell plan to compare the new test with another one Tripp and his colleagues developed, which measures the change in frequency of a laser as it scatters off viral DNA or RNA. Tripp also is working to adapt the new technique so that poultry producers can rapidly detect levels of salmonella in bath water during processing. “Theoretically, all we have to do is exchange our anti-influenza antibody out with an antibody for another pathogen that may be of interest, and we can do the same test for any number of infectious agents.”

1. J.D. Driskell et al., Analyst 136, 3083–3090 (2011).

More BioOptics World Current Issue Articles
More BioOptics World Archives Issue Articles

POST A COMMENT

Related Articles

In the researchers' optogenetic method, thoughts control a near-infrared LED, which starts the production of a molecule in a reaction chamber

Optogenetic method controls gene expression in thoughts

A team of researchers has developed an optogenetic gene regulation method that enables thought-specific brainwaves to control the conversion of genes into proteins (gene expression). The scientists...

TIST develops low-cost DPSS laser device for ophthalmology, oncology

Scientists at the Toc-H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST), following three years of research and development, have developed a diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) Nd:YAG laser device that has ...
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is working with Intrexon on a study using the company's Laser Enabled Analysis and Processing (LEAP) system for generating human iPSCs

Automated laser-based cell manipulation can generate stem cells for pathology

Scientists at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) generator, have collaborated with synthetic biology company Intrexon on a study using the company's...

Syneron Candela picosecond laser for tattoo removal receives FDA clearance

Aesthetic laser maker Syneron Medical (NASDAQ: ELOS) has received FDA approval for its PicoWay picosecond laser, which  generates picosecond pulses for tattoo removal of all colors.

BLOGS

Saturday at BiOS 2015

The Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS) at SPIE Photonics West 2015 starts Saturday, February 7, a...

Optogenetics webcast today

Today, January 21, 2015, BioOptics World will host one of the researchers who has played a leadin...
Optogenetics among photonics techniques highlighted at Neuroscience 2014

Optogenetics among photonics techniques highlighted at Neuroscience 2014

Technology in general, and optogenetics in particular, is a focus here at Neuroscience 2015, wher...

Most Popular Articles


CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2014. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS