Florida International University (FIU) is seeking a business partner to develop and commercialize Methods for the Diagnosis of Zika Virus Infection. These methods rely on an electrochemical immunosensor that comprises a functionalized interdigitated microelectrode of gold (IDE-Au) array.
Zika virus, a mosquito-borne pathogen, has been linked to occurrences of microcephaly when the virus is passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Currently, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are two major laboratory methods available for detecting Zika virus (ZIKV). These methods can be used to detect the virus, for example, within 3-10 days following the onset of symptoms. However, the ELISA test adopted for detecting Zika virus has limitations due to cross reactivity of the antibodies with other species of the Flavivirus genus such as, for example, dengue virus. In addition, ELISA is cumbersome for healthcare workers to carry and utilize. Because these methods are typically carried out in laboratories only, the turn-around time for confirmed laboratory diagnostics results can take up to days, causing significant delays in diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, these test methods are unable to detect Zika virus at low detection limits, which can result in misidentification of the viral infection at an early stage.
FIU inventors have developed methods for the detection of zika virus at low level with micro-electrochemical ZIKV immunosensors functionalized with Zika virus binding ligands such as monoclonal Zika virus antibodies and Zika non-structural proteins. These methods include contacting the immunosensing substrate with a biological sample, applying a frequency to the sensing device, monitoring changes in resistance response of the sensing device as Zika virus or Zika virus-infected cells bind with their binding ligands; and finally, quantifying the amount of ZIKV by comparing the measured resistance response with a pre-determined calibration curve. These methods allow for a rapid (operation time around 40 minutes) and selective detection of ZIKV in wide concentration range with a low detection limit (10 pM).
- Diagnostic screening for zika virus infection at early stage
- Assessment of diseases progression and therapy efficacy
- Suitable for use in clinical and field settings
- Enable early diagnosis of zika virus infection
- Allow for a sensitive, and selective detection of zika virus within 40 minutes
- Determine treatment effectiveness