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Detection of Human and Avian Flu Viruses Using Graphenated Infrared Screen

A. Banerjee, S. Chakraborty, H. Grebel
Institution, US

Keywords: bio-detection, IR spectroscopy, H5N1, H1N1, graphene


Metallo-dielectric screens (IR screens) have been investigated from the visible to the THz spectral region for astronomy and remote sensing applications. These screens are made of periodic structure aim to invoke surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes. These surface modes enable a better coupling between the incident beam and the molecules under test. Yet, in order to achieve such goal, one needs to devise a bio-compatible platform that enhances the respective infrared (IR) signals. Graphene is a monolayer thick crystal of carbon. Graphene is chemically inert, thermodynamically stable and mechanically strong. Recently, we were able to fabricate mono and a few-layers graphene on solid and perforated substrates (Figure 1) [1]. IR spectroscopy is a useful spectroscopic tool to assess bio-molecular vibrations and provides with molecular fingerprinting. By combining the properties of graphene-coated IR screens with a model membrane imbedded with receptors, we were able to devise a bio-compatible platform for the detection of bio-molecules [2]. Swine influenza virus (H1N1) has been proven fatal to humans. Avian influenza virus (H5N1) has been known to inflict devastating damage to poultry industries around the world. After early outbreaks in North America in April 2009, a new strain of swine influenza virus spread rapidly around the world. Seventy four countries reported of confirmed cases by the time the world health organization (WHO) declared a pandemic in June 2009. Thus, developing a simple, rapid and sensitive monitoring technique is essential for effective viral screening and global surveillance. Hemagglutinin is part of the binding site of the flu virus to a receptor. Here we monitor the binding of hemagglutinin (HA) to a model cell membrane- lipid bilayer- by using Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. In summary, we demonstrate a powerful, rapid, non-invasive spectroscopic tool to detect the binding between the hemagglutinin area, HA1 of influenza viruses to its respective receptor: either the human receptor or avian receptor as shown in Figure 2. Such powerful approach could be used to develop a database of unique signatures of known strains to facilitate global surveillance.
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