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Biosens Bioelectron. 2012 Jan 15;31(1):499-504. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2011.11.025. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Real-time optical detection of single human and bacterial viruses based on dark-field interferometry.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


The rapid and sensitive detection and characterization of human viruses and bacteriophage is extremely important in a variety of fields, such as medical diagnostics, immunology and vaccine research, and environmental contamination and quality control. We introduce an optical detection scheme for real-time and label-free detection of human viruses and bacteriophage as small as ~24 nm in radius. Combining the advantages of heterodyne interferometry and dark-field microscopy, this label-free method enables us to detect and characterize various biological nanoparticles with unsurpassed sensitivity and selectivity. We demonstrate the high sensitivity and precision of the method by analyzing a mixture containing HIV virus and bacteriophage. The method also resolves the distribution of small nano-impurities (~20-30 nm) in clinically relevant virus samples.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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