New biosensors for waterborne viruses: progress towards real-time detection of infectious viral particles using surface plasmon resonance


CALL: 2014

DOMAIN: SR - Water Resources under Change

FIRST NAME: Henry-Michel

LAST NAME: Cauchie




KEYWORDS: BiosensorsWaterborne virusesEnvironmental microbiologyMicrobial risk assessmentSurface plasmon resonance

START: 2015-04-01

END: 2018-08-31


Submitted Abstract

One of the current major challenges concerning the management of water quality is to develop fast (or even better real-time) detection systems for pathogens. According to the European Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform ( “In [the] future the management of the water cycle will not only be based on [a] prediction of what can happen but also through a change of management based on information obtained by sensor networks”. With waterborne viral pathogens being one of the major threats in water systems, biosensors for their detection are therefore highly desired for the management of water resources. Our aim is to advance the development of such biosensors. The prime objective of VIROSURF is to design biosensors for the quantification and characterization of specific waterborne viruses using Surface Plasmon Resonance imaging (SPRi) technology, with the perspective of using the developed biorecognition system as the core of low-cost environmental biosensors. To achieve this goal, two scientific approaches will be followed. The first part of this project will be devoted to the development of aptamers for human adenoviruses and F-specific RNA phages in order to develop SPRi aptasensors using these small oligonucleotides as bioreceptors. All methodological aspects and optimizations will be conducted using laboratory viral strains focusing on the characterization of the integrity or infectious state of the viral particles. In a validation step, viral analysis for environmental waters will then be carried out using the SPRi biosensor, and the observations compared with those obtained using common detection tools, such as real-time PCR and cell culture assays. In parallel, the second part of the project will be dedicated to the design of a filtration module for in situ sampling and pre-treatment of water. Besides publications in high-rank journals, the biorecognition molecules and technical product (in situ filtration device) developed in the VIROSURF project will be used in future projects dedicated to design of low-cost environmental biosensors adapted to user needs in the water resource sector.

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