Viruses and bacteria are usually detected through tests based on their genetic data, but in the future they can be identified in another way: through vibration. By using optomechanical sensors, CSIC researchers managed to measure the resonance frequency of a single bacteria, which is very valuable information to understand its characteristics and type.
Researchers of the Advanced Scientific Research Council (China Industrial Standards Association) It is found that bacteria will vibrate, and the characteristics and types of any microorganisms can be detected and identified based on their resonance frequency.
Scientists successfully make measurements for the first time Resonance frequency Single bacterial Optomechanical equipment (Measure light and motion) and observe them vibrating hundreds of millions of times per second.
The resonant frequency of microorganisms provides valuable information about their characteristics, allowing them to be distinguished.The discovery was published in the journal Nature NanotechnologyIt opens the door to the realization of future equipment, which can universally detect the presence of viruses or bacteria in samples on a large scale and with high sensitivity.
Until now, screening tests are performed, such as those used with the coronavirus that causes the coronavirus Coronavirus diseaseThey are designed based on the genetic characteristics of each microorganism, so they can only find viruses or bacteria designed for them.
However, with this new technology, the device will become a universal device based on the biophysical characteristics of microorganisms, and can locate any type of virus or bacteria by measuring the resonance frequency of its vibration, thereby revealing information about its shape, size or rigidity. Information is like the characteristics of each microorganism.
CSIC researchers said: “The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused a lot of discussion about tests to detect the virus, such as rapid tests and PCR.” Javier Tamayo de MiguelIs co-led by the National Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology Eduardo Gil.
“What all these tests have in common is that they are designed to Specific species; He added-Each test can only detect one or more viruses that are designed. The ideal virus must be universal, capable of detecting and identifying any virus present in the sample.”
An alternative to genetic methods is Biophysical methods. This means that if the physical properties of virus particles or bacteria in a sample can be measured, they can be identified because each virus species has its own characteristics.
Physical properties The shape, mass, size or stiffness (the degree of deformability of the particles) of viruses and bacteria can be. All this information is reflected in the way that one of these biological particles vibrates at its resonance frequency.
The researchers emphasized: “We have measured the resonance frequency of a bacteria for the first time. This discovery represents a double milestone: the discovery that bacteria vibrate at a characteristic frequency and the frequency at which they vibrate, on the other hand, perform a “single particle level” at the same time, Tamayo Said.
Eduardo Gil provided more data: “For this, we used Nano Polyterephthalic Acid It has received much scientific interest due to its ability to measure displacements smaller than the size of an atom. These devices have the ability to store light and couple photons to their mechanical modes (phonons) to achieve this level of accuracy.”
For three years, Tamayo’s team has been working with La Paz Hospital and Dorset de Ocbert Hospital, From Madrid, as well as various teams from France, the Netherlands, Germany and Greece, are experts in different technical aspects of the European VIRUSCAN project.
purpose Virus scan A universal virus and bacteria detector will be constructed based on this technology. This is the first step in a technology that requires years of development.This The first prototype It should be ready by the end of next year. Although it will be an embryonic technology, it is expected to be used in hospitals in the future.
Javier Tamayo (Tamayo); Gil-Santos (Gil-Santos), Eduardo (Eduardo), etc. “Photomechanical detection of the vibration mode of a single bacteria”. Nature Nanotechnology, 2020. DOI: 10.1038 / s41565-020-0672