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Bird flu sensor

Posted September 28, 2007 9:31 AM

From The Engineer:

Quick identification of avian influenza infection in poultry is critical to controlling outbreaks, but current detection methods can require several days to produce results. Now, however, a biosensor developed at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) can detect avian influenza in just minutes. In addition to being a rapid test, the biosensor is economical, field-deployable, sensitive to different viral strains and requires no labels or reagents. The biosensor itself is coated with antibodies specifically designed to capture a protein located on the surface of the virus. An interferometer is then used to precisely determine how many virus particles attach to the surface. 'We can do real-time monitoring of avian influenza infections on the farm, in live-bird markets or in poultry processing facilities,' said Jie Xu, a research scientist in GTRI's Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL).

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