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Technology developed for immediate on-site detection of airborne viruses

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New technology can detect airborne viruses in under an hour

Researchers in South Korea have developed a technology that enables immediate detection of specific airborne viruses in the field.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology has announced that the collaborative research team led by Dr Joonseok Lee from the Molecular Recognition Research Centre has developed a detection platform that can simultaneously sample and monitor airborne viruses.

The platform uses a disposable kit to collect and detect airborne viruses on-site. The disposable virus sampling/monitoring kit developed by the team enables completion of both sampling and diagnosing on airborne viruses within 50 minutes

The developed monitoring platform collects and concentrates the airborne virus on a porous glass fiber pad, and then the virus is flowed to the detection zone by a capillary force.

The flowed virus is combined with the near-infrared (NIR) emission of synthesized nanoprobes conjugated with antibodies that react only to specific viruses in order to selectively detect the desired viruses, even in an environment having simultaneous existence of several types of viruses

The airborne viruses are impacted by external factors such as the indoor space area size, the use of air conditioning system and temperature and humidity. In response, the collaborative research team established an artificial aerosolisation chamber system that can regulate external factors to verify the developed platform and conducted experiments under certain conditions.

The team was able to sample influenza viruses spread out in a large space, concentrate the virus to approximately more than one million times concentration in a porous pad, and recover the viruses attached to the pad surface with an efficiency of about 82%.

Dr Joonseok Lee said: “This platform supports an immediate analysis on the field collected sample, and it can be implemented as an indoor air pollution monitoring system for diagnosing airborne biological hazards such as the COVID-19 virus.”

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