If we are to develop effective strategies to prevent the spread of infectious disease and to limit the progression of new epidemics, early “point-of-care” detection is essential. This sort of rapid detection and diagnosis of disease at or near the site of patient care can only be achieved using portable, fast devices that and easy to use devices but still provide sensitive and specific analyses.
Recently, a group of Australian scientists showed that it is possible to exploit the immobilization of biomolecules on functional nanomaterials and that this technique can be used to develop rapid detection methods for viruses and other biological targets. The scientists, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Melbourne University, have combined their expertise in different fields to use multidisciplinary concepts that allow them to propose innovative protocols for biosensing. As a proof of concept, the localization of the Hendra virus, which is a deadly virus affecting livestock in Australia is demonstrated. However, this bio-screening methodology is applicable to other viral pathogens and will allow the rapid development of devices in response to the spread potentially serious viruses.
The research was recently published in the new journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.