Polythiophene nanofilms for sensitive fluorescence detection of viruses in drinking water

Wankar, Shashwati; Turner, Nicholas W. and Krupadam, Reddithota J. (2016). Polythiophene nanofilms for sensitive fluorescence detection of viruses in drinking water. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 82 pp. 20–25.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2016.03.020


Molecular imprints of the tobacco necrosis virus (TNV) have been formed within polythiophene nanofilms with an approximate thickness of 200 nm. These films have been electrochemically deposited onto conducting Au surfaces. Upon rebinding, the TNV-polythiophene complex changes the fluorescence intensity of the nanofilm. The fluorescence intensity at 410 nm was observed to be proportional to the concentration of viruses in the range of 0.1–10 ng L−1 (0.15–15 pg) with the lower calculated detection limit of 2.29 ng L−1 (3.4 pg). The intensity of the fluorescence emission is not affected by the thickness of the polythiophene film and the nature of TNV specific binding sites. Kinetic data analyses showed that the nanofilm responds to TNV within 2 min; and cross-selectivity studies with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) showed an excellent specificity for the targeted TNV. These binding experiments demonstrate the potential of fluorescence emission for the specific, label free and rapid detection of viruses using nanofilm sensors. Taking into account the lower limit of detection, the fluorescence sensing reported here is reliable, simple to perform, rapid, cost-effective and offers a sensitive analytical method for virus detection in water resources.

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