Faster Way to Detect Norovirus
A team of University of Arizona researchers has created a simple, portable and inexpensive method for detecting extremely low levels of norovirus.To detect norovirus in the field the team decided to use very simple materials: paper, in the form of microfluidic chips, and a smartphone, according to a university article. BMES member Jeong-Yeol Yoon led the team.
“Norovirus particles are too small to be imaged by a smartphone microscope, and so are antibodies,” Yoon said in the article. “But when you have two or three or more of these beads joined together, that indicates that the norovirus is there, causing the beads to aggregate.”
These clumps of beads are large enough for a smartphone microscope to detect and photograph. Then, a smartphone app the researchers created counts the number of illuminated pixels in the image to identify the number of aggregated beads, and subsequently, the number of norovirus particles in the sample.
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