develop device for early hantavirus detection
in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the
UNM School of Engineering developed a small, portable device
to aid in the early detection of viruses, specifically the hantavirus,
in rural areas where sophisticated medical diagnostic capabilities
are absent and thereby increasing chances of saving lives. The
device, an electrochemical immunosensor, can detect the presence
of the virus in approximately 20 minutes.
Ebtisam Wilkins, numerous doctorate students, post-doctoral
fellows and also undergraduates working in Wilkins lab,
have worked collectively to create the device in collaboration
with Professors Fred Koster and Brian Hjelle from the UNM School
of Medicine, and Terry Yates, vice provost for research and
biology professor. The electronic shop in the UNM Chemistry
Department also assisted.
been developing a really portable device, funded by the National
Science Foundation, that can detect the hantavirus and can be
modified to detect the presence of other bacteria such as salmonella
and E. coli, said Wilkins. The basic principle is
performed based on antibodies that bind specifically to viruses
immunoassay techniques are based on the principle of molecular
recognition of a target sample by corresponding antibodies.
It involves a laboratory technique that makes use of the binding
between an antigen and its homologous antibody in order to identify
and quantify the specific antigen or antibody in a sample.
technique, being developed and tested for use in the field by
UNM researchers, is a qualitative or quantitative analysis of
a substance to determine its components. The basic principles
of alternative assay methods are the same as immunoassay techniques
which includes the registration of antigen-antibody interaction.
The attraction of an electrochemical detection of labeled immunospecies
for immunoassay is connected to a high sensitivity and versatility
of the technique.
an age where the West Nile virus, AIDS, SARS and other viruses
are widespread, a defense against the presence of these infectious
viruses or bacteria, could be accomplished by detecting them
before they spread, said Wilkins. That is why a
sampling of air or environmental liquid samples are important
and needed on a real-time basis for detection before infection