Home Uncategorized This device can detect Ebola virus in 30 minutes

This device can detect Ebola virus in 30 minutes

We don’t need to talk about Ebola and how it has frightened the whole
world. However, it sure excites us to tell you that a new sensor has
been introduced that is capable of detecting the infamous disease in
less than 30 minutes in blood sample. 

According to a team of experts, the gadget can be used by anyone and
is about the size of a shoebox. It can also be shipped to West Africa in
hopes to enable them to monitor the spread of this disease. The gadget
works by using reflection of light and has proven itself quite capable
and effective when it comes to identifying Ebola virus.

As of now, the containment of Ebola is proving to be a difficult task
owing to the fact that the cost and trouble of confirming an Ebola
patient on first visit is too high. The traditional approach
of identification using fluorescent label-based virus detection system
makes use of lab equipment that is on the high cost end, demands a lot
of time for sample preparation while also requiring a lot of training to
operate and use the system.
A Boston University research team has been focusing on this problem for
the past five years and has recently claimed that their device  is fully
capable of diagnosing Ebola along with other hemorrhagic fever diseases
in countries that have limited resources. The team has demonstrated the
capabilities of the gadget where it was proven that the gadget is able
to detect multiple viruses simultaneously within the blood stream
including Ebola and Marburg viruses.
The research was funded by National Institute of Health and has been
published in the May 2014 ACS Nano. Ünlü, an ENG Associate Dean for
Research and Graduate programs, said that the biological samples may
very well contain a mixture of proteins, viruses and bacteria. He
explained, “Others have developed different label-free systems, but none
have been nearly as successful in detecting nanoscale viral particles
in complex media. Leveraging expertise in optical biosensors and
hemorrhagic fever diseases, our collaborative research effort has
produced a highly sensitive device with the potential to perform rapid
diagnostics in clinical settings.”

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The traditional methods for sample preparation requires about an hour
followed by almost two hours or even more for the method of processing,
however, this BU prototype is capable of delivering results in almost
an hour. Connor is a researcher at the University’s National Emerging
Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and thinks, “By minimizing
sample preparation and handling, our system can reduce potential
exposure to health care workers. And by looking for multiple viruses at
the same time, patients can be diagnosed much more effectively.”

The gadget has been named as Single Particle Interferometric
Reflectance Imaging Sensor (SP-IRIS) and is powerful enough to detect
pathogens through a multi-color LED source that shines light onto the
viral nano-particles attached to the surface of the sensor via a coating
of antibodies. In the presence of a particle, the interference of light
is affected and this results in a signal that is distinct and can tell
the size and shape of each viral particle.

SP-IRIS devices are in test phase now and are being tried at a number of
labs such as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) lab, located at the University
of Texas Medical Branch. The team speculates that a market ready product
will be available in about 5 years.


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