Traditional virus diagnostic tools such as ELISA and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) remain strong diagnostic options, but they require significant infrastructure and sample preparation time. Now a team of researchers led by Boston University Assistant Professors Hatice Altug (ECE) and John Connor (Microbiology, BUSM) has introduced a novel biosensor that directly detects live viruses from biological media with little to no sample preparation.
Partly funded through the Boston University Photonics Center and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), 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 poxviruses (such as monkeypox or smallpox) in ordinary biological laboratory settings. The researchers report on this breakthrough in the November 5 online edition of Nano Letters.