An optofluidic nanoplasmonic biosensor for direct detection of live viruses from biological media

Ahmet A. Yanik, Min Huang, Osami Kamohara, Alp Artar, Thomas W. Geisbert, John H. Connor, Hatice Altug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

402 Scopus citations


Fast and sensitive virus detection techniques, which can be rapidly deployed at multiple sites, are essential to prevent and control future epidemics and bioterrorism threats. In this Letter, we demonstrate a label-free optofluidic nanoplasmonic sensor that can directly detect intact viruses from biological media at clinically relevant concentrations with little to no sample preparation. Our sensing platform is based on an extraordinary light transmission effect in plasmonic nanoholes and utilizes group-specific antibodies for highly divergent strains of rapidly evolving viruses. So far, the questions remain for the possible limitations of this technique for virus detection, as the penetration depths of the surface plasmon polaritons are comparable to the dimensions of the pathogens. Here, we demonstrate detection and recognition of small enveloped RNA viruses (vesicular stomatitis virus and pseudotyped Ebola) as well as large enveloped DNA viruses (vaccinia virus) within a dynamic range spanning 3 orders of magnitude. Our platform, by enabling high signal to noise measurements without any mechanical or optical isolation, opens up opportunities for detection of a broad range of pathogens in typical biology laboratory settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4962-4969
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 8 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensing
  • ebola
  • plasmonics
  • vaccinia
  • vesicular stomatitis virus
  • virus detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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