A Nanoscale Bean-Counter for Viruses
March Meeting 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A low-cost, disposable device for detecting viral infections would be a boon to many areas of public health, and there are many possible new devices in the works in laboratories across the country. In Portland, Jean-Luc Fraikin and Andrew Cleland of the University of California, Santa Barbara will describe the performance of one such device that counts streams of tiny nanoparticles passing through microfluidic channels.
The device measures the conductance of the samples passing through channels, and it counts individual particles using their electrical properties. The eventual idea is to chemically modify these nanoparticles so that they stick to blood components or virus particles. Then the device would be able to directly detect viral infections or directly measure the concentration of some essential component of the blood. Their eventual goal is to develop a diagnostic tool for detecting hepatitis C infections.
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