Researchers at Korea University Guro Hospital (KUGH) have developed a technique that uses wave energy to reduce by half the virus detection time of malaria, dengue fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and other infectious diseases.
|From left, Professors Im Chae-seung and Nam Jung-hoon|
Using the lamb wave, the researchers, led by Professors Im Chae-seung and Nam Jung-hoon, caused particle movements within the sample containing dengue virus and found that the viscosity increases during gene amplification when the target virus is present.
By comparing the sample without the virus, the team verified the virus in 25 minutes.
Until now, most hospitals used a virus culture test to detect dengue virus, but the test took about an hour to detect the virus, and the culturing method was complicated, making it hard to get the diagnosis result in time to treat patients properly.
The new technology only requires 30 to 50 uL of saliva to detect the virus accurately in half the time of the existing test methods, and only requires a 37 Celsius isothermal device and not large-sized, expensive equipment usually used by the conventional method. The process is also straightforward that it does not need an expert to detect the virus, the hospital said in a news release.
“With the new technology it will become possible to analyze various biofluid samples with a small amount of blood using isothermal equipment rather than large, expensive large equipment,” Professor Im said. “It is also likely that developing countries where resources are lacking will benefit from this technology.”
Professor Nam said, “Subsequent studies have shown that detection of cells associated with various infectious diseases as well as dengue fever is possible.”
As rapid and accurate detection of parasites, bacteria, and viruses related to infectious diseases, such as malaria, MERS, Ebola and Zika, are important in preventing infection spreading, the technology will allow timely treatment, lowering mortality rates, Nam added.
Biosensors & Bioelectronics published the results of the study.
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