Virus Detector

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Text by Atlan Bieri
Photography by Martin Oeggerli

Scientists designed a detector for viruses. Martin Oeggerli together with researcher Alessandro Cumbo produced a stunning image of this new piece of nanotechnology. It was published along with the original research article in Nature Comments and has since spread in news media around the world.

Swiss scientists from the School of Life Sciences (FHNW) together with colleagues from the University of Basel have invented a nano-detector for viruses. The researchers used the viruses themselves as templates and then grew a layer of silica around them. Afterwards they removed the viruses resulting in an imprint, which has the correct size and shape to selectively detect that virus. The new detector could help to quickly identify virus-based diseases or function as a new kind of medication to assist healing.

Article on the communication page of the University of Basel

On ScienceNews

On Microscopy and Analysis



About the cover: Artificial virus recognition nanomaterials- Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of  Virus Imprinted Particles – VIPs – created via a surface initiated bottom-up synthetic approach using viruses as templates. The blue particles (approx. 400 nm) represent the VIPs while the “pink” dots represent the trapped virus.Credits: A. Cumbo (SEM), Micronaut (Artwork), 2013.


Further reading: A synthetic nanomaterial for virus recognition produced by surface imprinting, Alessandro Cumbo et al., Nature Communications, February 2013.



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