Rapid electrochemical detection of single influenza viruses tagged with silver nanoparticles†
Using a state of the art nano-electrochemical technique, we show that a single virus ‘tagged’ with silver nanoparticles can be rapidly detected in real time at the single virus level. A solution containing a low concentration of influenza virus is exposed to silver nanoparticles which are adsorbed onto the virus surface, as revealed by UV-Vis spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. With sufficient potential applied to a carbon electrode introduced into the solution, current spikes are observed which correspond to the oxidation of the nanoparticles decorating the virus. The frequency of the current spikes and their magnitude are linearly proportional to the virus concentration and to the surface coverage of the nanoparticles, respectively. Differences observed from single bacterium detection are discussed and a comparison with existing detection methods is made, with emphasis on the favourability of the proposed technique towards the realization of point of care test devices.