In the future, there may be portable and wearable sensors to detect viruses and bacteria in the surrounding environment. But we are not there yet. Scientists at Tohoku University have been studying materials that can turn mechanical into electrical or magnetic energy for decades and vice versa. Together with colleagues, he published a review in the journal Advanced Materials about the most recent efforts in the manufacture of functional biosensors that use these materials.
“Research on the performance improvement of virus sensors has not progressed much in recent years,” says materials engineer Fumio Narita of Tohoku University. “Our review aims to help young researchers and graduate students understand the latest advances to guide their future work to improve virus sensor sensitivity.”
Piezoelectric materials convert mechanical to electrical energy. Antibodies that interact with a specific virus can be placed on electrodes incorporated into the piezoelectric material. When the target virus interacts with the antibody, it causes an increase in mass that reduces the frequency of the electric current moving through the material, indicating its presence. These types of sensors are being investigated to detect several viruses, including cervical-cancer-causing human papilloma virus, HIV, influenza A, Ebola and hepatitis B.
Magnetostrictive materials convert mechanical energy into magnetic energy and vice versa. These bacterial infections, such as typhoid and swine fever, have been investigated for further detection. Bishariya Spores. The probing antibody is fixed on a biosensor chip placed on the magnetostrictive material and then a magnetic field is applied. If the target antigen interacts with the antibody, it adds mass to mass, causing a change in magnetic flux, which can be detected using a sensing ‘pick-up coil’.
Narita says that the development of artificial intelligence and simulation studies can help find more sensitive piezoelectric and magnetostrictive materials to detect viruses and other pathogens. Future materials can be flawless, wireless and soft, making it possible to incorporate them into clothes and buildings.
Scientists are also investigating how to use these and similar materials. SARS-CoV-2Virus causes COVID-19, In the air. This type of sensor can be incorporated into underground transport ventilation systems, for example, to monitor viruses spread in real time. Wear sensors can expel people from a virus-prone environment.
“Scientists still need to develop more effective and reliable sensors to detect viruses with higher sensitivity and, Accuracy, Smaller size and weight, and better affordability, before they can be used in home applications or smart clothing, ”says Narita. “This type of virus sensor will become a reality with further development of materials science and technological advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.”
References: “Review of piezoelectric and magnetosteractive biosensor materials for the investigation of COVID uses 19 and other viruses,” by Fuwiao Narita, Zhenjin Wang, Hiroki Kurita, Zhen Li, Yu Shi, Yu Jia, and Constantino Sotis, 24 November 2020. advanced Materials.
DOI: 10.1002 / adma.202005448