Researchers Develop Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence Probes for Influenza A Virus Detection; Sensor Incorporated with Probes Enables Speedy, Accurate, Cost-Effective, and Highly Sensitive Molecular Diagnosis

Recurring influenza epidemics, such as the one during World War I, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in the 2010s, and the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years have made it evident that contagious viral respiratory diseases often make an appearance in the timeline of human history. Denser populations, close contact during transportation, and improvements in connectivity have significantly increased the rate of spread of such viral infections. To minimize viral transmission and mass infection, rapid diagnostic tests that can detect and identify viruses are essential for effective isolation and treatment of infected patients. In recent years, fluorescence-based lateral flow immunoassay (LFI) has gained popularity as a diagnostic tool for viral detection. It is a rapid virus detection platform which uses molecules that glow under special lighting conditions in the presence of a viral load. However, the performance of this detection platform is limited due to several issues related to detection sensitivity. In a recent study, a team of researchers led by Professor Min-Gon Kim from the Department of Chemistry at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in South Korea has nowdemonstrated thatthese fluorescence-based LFIs, when enhanced by gold nanorod (GNR)-based probes, could accurately and rapidly detect an influenza virus protein, without the need for complex diagnostic laboratory equipment. Their work was made available online on August 18, 2023 and published in Volume 17, Issue 17 of ACS Nano on September 12, 2023. The article is titled “Plasmonic Approach to Fluorescence Enhancement of Mesoporous Silica-Coated Gold Nanorods for Highly Sensitive Influenza A Virus Detection Using Lateral Flow Immunosensor.”

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