U.S. researchers have developed a device to quickly capture and identify various strains of viruses, according to a release of the Pennsylvania State University on Monday.
Currently, virologists estimate that 1.67 million unknown viruses are in animals, a number of which can be transmitted to humans. Known viruses, such as H5N1, Zika and Ebola, have caused widespread illness and death, Xinhua reports.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and New York University (NYU) have developed the fast and inexpensive handheld device that can capture viruses based on size.
The device, called a VIRRION, has a wide range of possible uses. Because of its size and low cost, such a device would be useful in every doctor's office as well as in remote locations when disease outbreaks occur, according to the release.
Our device uses arrays of nanotubes engineered to be comparable in size to a wide range of viruses. We then use Raman spectroscopy to identify the viruses based on their individual vibration," said Mauricio Terrones, professor of physics, chemistry, and materials science and engineering at the Pennsylvania State University.
According to researchers, the VIRRION enables the rapid enrichment of virus particles from any type of sample -- environmental or clinical -- which jump-starts viral characterization.
Eventually, we hope to use this device for the capture and sequencing of single virions, giving us a much better handle on the evolution of the virus in real time," said Elodie Ghedin, a virologist at NYU.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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