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ACS Nano ; 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483086

ABSTRACT

Emerging viruses will continue to be a threat to human health and wellbeing into the foreseeable future. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the necessity for rapid viral sensing and inhibitor screening in mitigating viral spread and impact. Here, we present a platform that uses a label-free electronic readout as well as a dual capability of optical (fluorescence) readout to sense the ability of a virus to bind and fuse with a host cell membrane, thereby sensing viral entry. This approach introduces a hitherto unseen level of specificity by distinguishing fusion-competent viruses from fusion-incompetent viruses. The ability to discern between competent and incompetent viruses means that this device could also be used for applications beyond detection, such as screening antiviral compounds for their ability to block virus entry mechanisms. Using optical means, we first demonstrate the ability to recapitulate the entry processes of influenza virus using a biomembrane containing the viral receptor that has been functionalized on a transparent organic bioelectronic device. Next, we detect virus membrane fusion, using the same, label-free devices. Using both reconstituted and native cell membranes as materials to functionalize organic bioelectronic devices, configured as electrodes and transistors, we measure changes in membrane properties when virus fusion is triggered by a pH drop, inducing hemagglutinin to undergo a conformational change that leads to membrane fusion.

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