Towards the Development of Organic Electrochemical Devices for Enveloped Virus Detection
Viral infections induced by enveloped viruses have been a major public health concern for decades. In order to initiate timely antiviral therapy and reduce human mortality during a virus outbreak, a sensitive viral diagnostic technique that can rapidly detect and identify enveloped viruses is necessary. The supported lipid bilayer (SLB) is a well-established representative of a cell membrane that mimics the outer biological surface of a host cell. It is commonly formed on electrically inert, planar, silica-based surfaces and have been used with great effect to characterize virus-host interactions. However, these studies require the virus to be fluorescently labeled prior to study. Therefore, we proposed to form these biomimetic SLBs on PEDOT:PSS, a conductive polymer support, that the charged viral genome can interact with upon fusion, resulting in an electrical readout. Challenges lie in constructing SLBs on PEDOT:PSS due to both electrostatic repulsion between the polymer and charged species in the cell membrane and the swollen polymers unfavorable surface smoothness that can prevent membrane vesicles from fusing into a planar geometry. Various stimuli were explored to successfully induce bilayer formation on the polymer surface, which includes divalent cations, charged liposomes, pegylated cushions, and external macromolecules. Furthermore, because this polymer is transparent, we could still carry out single virion fusion using fluorescence microscopy to corroborate the ability to successfully test the electrical sensing in the future. This critical work demonstrates the potential for this platform to become a new kinds of viral detection device.
Chemical engineering; Supported lipid bilayer; Materials Science; organic electrochemical device; PEDOT:PSS; SLB; viral sensor; Bioengineering
Ober, Christopher Kemper
M.S., Chemical Engineering
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis