The novel material system utilizes near infrared laser triggered upconversion luminescence (UCL) to detect the presence of virus DNA oligonucleotides. The green luminescence of the lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were absorbed by gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in the presence of the virus gene through luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET). The nanoporous alumina membrane was used to accommodate the two types of nanoparticles to increase the limit of detection down to femtomolar scale. The development of this technology aimed to provide a low-cost, rapid and specific detection method in addition to the well-developed clinical methods. The current technology cannot be used at remote area for rapid virus screening because of large instrumentation. The newly developed technology described herein simply requires a laser beam, a detector and a detection circuit for virus recognition. The target users range from professionals at clinical laboratories to doctors in remote areas. We are seeking industrial partners who are able to support the development of the electronic parts of the detection device for the manufacturing of advanced portable appliances.
Optical-based detection is known to be sensitive and simple. Conventional optical detection system requires high energy source, which is damaging to the biological samples and causes high background fluorescence. These features increase the complexity for the readout process. UCL utilizes near infrared light instead of visible light. Near infrared poses no damage to biological samples, and the availability of low-cost diode lasers can further decrease the implantation and fabrication costs of the devices. As a result, this technology provides a less expensive and portable option for users to perform relatively time consuming and complex detection testing. Although the upconversion-based detection system is not as sensitive as the conventional polymerase chain reaction, it is still more sensitive than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The limit of detection is around 300 femtomolar.
The detection system is versatile because it relies on the surface functional group of the UCNPs. For instance, the probe oligonucleotide or antibodies can be conjugated onto the UCNPs to be a DNA or virus sensor. The nano biosensor can even be modified to suit other sensing applications, such as water quality monitoring or temperature sensing.
Cheaper Portable User friendly Rapid Simple operation