Rapid Zika Virus Nano-enabled Electrochemical Detection System


Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing a business partner interested in developing and commercializing Rapid Zika Virus Detection using Nano-Enabled Electrochemical Sensing System. FIU scientists have developed an electrochemical immunosensor for detection and monitoring of Zika virus disease. This electroactive, nanostructured platform works with disease-specific antibodies to detect Pico molar (pM) levels of target biomarkers. Through the integration of smart, nano-enabled biosensors and MEMS technology this technology can detect biomarkers at point-of-care (POC) applications within 40 minutes. This can be of great use in detecting Zika virus diseases in remote areas to ensure timely treatment.

Currently, rapid blood tests for the diagnosis of Zika virus infections include antigen or antibodies to capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and RNA detection by RT-PCR within 3 to 10 days after the onset of symptoms. The ELISA test procedure is very cumbersome due to the highly infective nature of the virus, which requires several washes of the ELISA plates over a period of time. Furthermore, ELISA is difficult to implement as a POC alternative. Meanwhile, the RT-PCR method’s effectiveness is hindered due to the rapidly changing nature of the genomic sequence of the virus. Both methods can only be performed in laboratories and with turnaround time for a confirmed laboratory Zika diagnostics result of about 3 days, which can cause delays in initiating therapy. Developing a cost-effective, rapid, sensitive, and selective electrochemical immunosensor to detect Zika at POC can be of much benefit.


The Zika monoclonal antibody-based electrochemical immunosensors can be used for early detection of the Zika virus. Selective detection can be achieved at pM levels within 40 minutes allowing for rapid screenings and estimation of Zika virus levels at early stages of infection. The miniaturized sensor can be implemented at point of care helping to guide the therapeutic decision and personalized health care monitoring of Zika infected patients.

  • Provides high sensitivity of detection of disease specific antibodies at pM level.
  • Allows for rapid detection of biomarkers within 40 minutes.
  • Low cost and requires minimum equipment providing POC detection of Zika.

For additional information about this technology opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Garami at egarami@fiu.edu or by phone at 305-348-0008 and ask about record IP 1628.