Tunable and label-free virus enrichment for ultrasensitive virus detection using carbon nanotube arrays

Y-T Yeh, Y. Tang, A. Sebastian, A. Dasgupta, N. Perea-Lopez, I. Albert, H. Lu, M. Terrones, S-Y Zheng
Pennsylvania State university,
United States

Keywords: CNTs, virus, PCR, enrichment, label free, microfluidic


Viral infectious diseases can erupt unpredictably, spread rapidly, and ravage mass populations. Although established methods, such as polymerase chain reaction, virus isolation, and next-generation sequencing have been used to detect viruses, field samples with low virus count pose major challenges in virus surveillance and discovery. We report a unique carbon nanotube size-tunable enrichment microdevice (CNT-STEM) that efficiently enriches and concentrates viruses collected from field samples. The channel sidewall in the microdevice was made by growing arrays of vertically aligned nitrogen-doped multiwalled CNTs, where the intertubular distance between CNTs could be engineered in the range of 17 to 325 nm to accurately match the size of different viruses. The CNT-STEM significantly improves detection limits and virus isolation rates by at least 100 times. Using this device, we successfully identified an emerging avian influenza virus strain [A/duck/PA/02099/2012(H11N9)] and a novel virus strain (IBDV/turkey/PA/00924/14). Our unique method demonstrates the early detection of emerging viruses and the discovery of new viruses directly from field samples, thus creating a universal platform for effectively remediating viral infectious diseases.