Aptamer-based biosensors for the rapid visual detection of flu viruses†
RNA aptamers showing affinity and specificity for different strains of human influenza virus were assembled onto gold nanoparticles that subsequently formed a gold nanoshell (AuNS) around the viral envelope. These shells could be visualised by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Changes in size and structure of the AuNS coated virus can be used to detect the viruses. We show that sedimentation with a low cost centrifuge and visual determination can detect 3 × 108 viral particles.