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Coin-Sized POC Device Detects Measles Virus in Saliva

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Jul 2022
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Image: Novel POC biosensing device can detect measles virions in human saliva (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Image: Novel POC biosensing device can detect measles virions in human saliva (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Measles is one of the most infectious airborne viruses worldwide. With a basic reproduction rate of between 12-18, this virus is six times more infectious than the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant and similar to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. Even though a cheap and effective vaccine is available, measles is still common in developing countries. To date, sporadic outbreaks are also reported in developed countries, primarily due to non-vaccinated people. Now, a new point-of-care (POC) biosensing device that is capable of detecting measles virions (MV) in human saliva may help with efforts to control the viral spread.

The device developed by researchers at the Nanoscience Institute of the Italian National Research Council (Rome, Italy) is a surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) based lab-on-a-chip (LOC), smaller than a €1-cent coin, in which SAWs are used both for sensing and fluid recirculation. Experiments have validated the accuracy of the lab-on-a-chip device which may offer a convenient platform for measles diagnosis and serve as a guideline for designing new microfluidic biosensing systems.

“Our technology for the first time demonstrated the synergic operation of different surface-acoustic-wave-based micro devices on the same chip, in the context of lab-on-a-chip biosensing. In this way we have been able to drastically improve the detection limit of our sensors, potentially enabling early point-of-care diagnostic applications,” said senior author Marco Cecchini, PhD, Senior Researcher of the Nanoscience Institute of the Italian National Research Council.

Related Links:
Italian National Research Council

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