Research Topic

Nanotechnology for Virus Detection

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The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 has been a major burden on clinical microbiology laboratories over the past several months. It presents global challenges transcending geographical boundaries and threatens the healthcare systems worldwide. As of June 9th, 2020, there is currently no vaccine to prevent ...

The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 has been a major burden on clinical microbiology laboratories over the past several months. It presents global challenges transcending geographical boundaries and threatens the healthcare systems worldwide. As of June 9th, 2020, there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Thus, fast and accurate diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 virus are essential to slow the spread of COVID-19, and allow for efficient implementation of control and containment strategies. Current diagnostic tests for COVID-19 are based on real time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) assays. Although this test is sensitive, it requires expensive equipment, trained technicians to perform the test, and has long turnaround times. In addition, the demand for PCR reagents is high and their availability is impeded by a shortage in supply during the current emergency.

Nanotechnology is an emerging and innovative discipline representing the frontier of current technology and science. The past decade has seen rapid growth in literature reporting nanotechnology platforms for virus and pathogen diagnosis predating COVID-19. Transforming current detection platforms to nanoscale and pushing the limit of detection would enable early stage disease diagnosis. It is expected that the emerging nanotechnologies will transform today’s expensive and labour-intensive diagnostic techniques into a user-friendly and cost-effective detection protocol with superior or comparable sensitivity and specificity. This shift in paradigm could contribute to better surveillance and control of SARS-COV-2 infection in populations. This special issue will provide an overview of recent research advances in nanotechnology used for virus and pathogen detection, before and during COVID-19, specifically:

• Magnetic biosensors including but not limited to magnetoresistance (MR)-based biosensors, magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS)-based biosensors, magnetoimpedance (MI)-base biosensors, magnetic relaxation switching (MRS)-based biosensors, and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs).
• Optical biosensors including but not limited to surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based biosensors, optical waveguide-based biosensors, optical ring resonator-based biosensors, interferometer-based biosensors.
• Other biosensors that combined with advanced nanotechnologies such as nanowires, nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanoflakes, quantum dot, 2D materials, etc.

This Research Topic will accept the following Article Types: Original Research, Method, Opinion, Perspective, Review and Mini review.

Acknowledgment: The editors are thankful to Assistant Topic Editor Dr. Venkatramana D Krishna, who helped design the proposal and complete the project.


Keywords: technology, diagnostics, COVID-19, virus, pathogen


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