Rapid detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus with optical microchip sensors

Rapid identification of infectious disease pathogens such as foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) during new outbreaks of disease is of fundamental importance in disease control. SpectroSens (TM) optical microchip sensors demonstrating rapid, label-free detection of FMDV are presented; these contain multiple high-precision planar Bragg gratings and function as low-cost, robust refractive-index sensors. Sensor selectivity to FMDV is imparted by functionalising the top-surface of specific sensing channels with anti-FMDV monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Selective binding of cognate antigens within the test sample to surface-immobilised FMDV mAbs results in localised changes in refractive index within specific sensing channels; these antibody-antigen interactions manifest as increases in wavelength of light reflected from the multi-channel sensor chip (light is coupled into and out of the chip via optical fibres). Selective identification of FMDV within minutes of sample introduction has been demonstrated by referenced measurement of changes in sensor reflected wavelength from anti-FMDV channels against sensor controls; simplified 'snap-shot' assay data are displayed in the form of a simple yes/no readout using a robust, hand-portable device, with further semi-quantitative information available to the 'super-user'. The characteristics of the SpectroSens (TM) multiplexed detection platform highlight its potential for in-field detection of foot-and-mouth disease and prospective expansion into diagnoses of other infectious veterinary diseases.

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