Posts Tagged ‘localized plasmon resonace’

Swiss scientists develop methods to sniff out coronavirus in the air

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Scientists at Switzerland’s National Institute for Applied Materials Science and ETH Zurich work on a sensor that can detect the novel coronavirus as it floats through the air. The device would operate in the same way as industrial sensor for pollutants and detectors for airborne viruses and bacteria. However, the sensor would not replace laboratory tests or diagnostics, but it can be used to monitor airborne concentrations in high-traffic areas such hospitals or public transit stations.

Using a technology called localized surface plasmon resonance, the device comprises molecular binding sites intended for the coronavirus’s unique RNA sequence, mounted on nanostructures made of gold. Yet, when the virus’s genetic material lines up and attaches, the nanostructures on the devices begin to modulate the light around them, which can be read using an optical sensor. In addition, it also encompasses a second detection method that fires a laser at the nanostructures and confirms the presence of the virus by changes in the amount of heat produced.

To validate the proof of concept and its accuracy, scientists tested their device against the SARS-CoV-2 which contains slightly different RNA. The device is able to differentiate between the two, but more development work requires to be done to create a system capable of monitoring a wide area for the pathogen. This contains building a system for drawing in air, concentrating its aerosols and releasing the RNA from the virus.



Read Full Post »