Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smartphone 'microscope' can detect a single virus, nanoparticles

Date:
September 17, 2013
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair. An engineer has created a portable smartphone attachment to enable sophisticated field testing of fluid and solid samples for detection of viruses and bacteria without need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment. The device weighs less than half a pound.

Nano camera.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles

Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair.

Aydogan Ozcan, a professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and his team have created a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria without the need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment. The device weighs less than half a pound.

"This cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength objects, including bacteria and viruses and therefore could enable the practice of nanotechnology and biomedical testing in field settings and even in remote and resource-limited environments," Ozcan said. "These results also constitute the first time that single nanoparticles and viruses have been detected using a cellphone-based, field-portable imaging system."

The new research, published on Sept. 9 in the American Chemical Society's journal ACS Nano, comes on the heels of Ozcan's other recent inventions, including a cellphone camera-enabled sensor for allergens in food products and a smart phone attachment that can conduct common kidney tests.

Capturing clear images of objects as tiny as a single virus or a nanoparticle is difficult because the optical signal strength and contrast are very low for objects that are smaller than the wavelength of light.

In the ACS Nano paper, Ozcan details a fluorescent microscope device fabricated by a 3-D printer that contains a color filter, an external lens and a laser diode. The diode illuminates fluid or solid samples at a steep angle of roughly 75 degrees. This oblique illumination avoids detection of scattered light that would otherwise interfere with the intended fluorescent image.

Using this device, which attaches directly to the camera module on a smartphone, Ozcan's team was able to detect single human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) particles. HCMV is a common virus that can cause birth defects such as deafness and brain damage and can hasten the death of adults who have received organ implants, who are infected with the HIV virus or whose immune systems otherwise have been weakened. A single HCMV particle measures about 150-300 nanometers; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers thick.

In a separate experiment, Ozcan's team also detected nanoparticles -- specially marked fluorescent beads made of polystyrene -- as small as 90-100 nanometers.

To verify these results, researchers in Ozcan's lab used other imaging devices, including a scanning electron microscope and a photon-counting confocal microscope. These experiments confirmed the findings made using the new cellphone-based imaging device.

Ozcan is the principal investigator on the research. The first author of ACS Nano the paper is Qingshan Wei, a postdoctoral researcher in Ozcan's lab and at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), where Ozcan is associate director. Other co-authors include Hangfei Qi and Ting-Ting Wu of the UCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology; Wei Luo, Derek Tseng, Zhe Wan and Zoltan Gorocs of the UCLA Electrical Engineering Department; So Jung Ki of the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Laurent Bentolila of CNSI and the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Ren Sun of the UCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and CNSI.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Bill Kisliuk. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qingshan Wei, Hangfei Qi, Wei Luo, Derek Tseng, So Jung Ki, Zhe Wan, Zoltán Göröcs, Laurent A. Bentolila, Ting-Ting Wu, Ren Sun, Aydogan Ozcan. Fluorescent Imaging of Single Nanoparticles and Viruses on a Smart Phone. ACS Nano, 2013; 130912121543008 DOI: 10.1021/nn4037706

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Smartphone 'microscope' can detect a single virus, nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917093933.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2013, September 17). Smartphone 'microscope' can detect a single virus, nanoparticles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917093933.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Smartphone 'microscope' can detect a single virus, nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917093933.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins