A nanobeads amplified QCM immunosensor for the detection of avian influenza virus H5N1

Dujuan Li, Jianping Wang, Ronghui Wang, Yanbin Li, Daad Abi-Ghanem, Luc Berghman, Billy Hargis, Huaguang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


As a potential pandemic threat to human health, there has been an urgent need for rapid detection of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) H5N1 virus. In this study, magnetic nanobeads amplification based quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) immunosensor was developed as a new method and application for AI H5N1 virus detection. Polyclonal antibodies against AI H5N1 virus surface antigen HA (Hemagglutinin) were immobilized on the gold surface of the QCM crystal through self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (MHDA). Target H5N1 viruses were then captured by the immobilized antibodies, resulting in a change in the frequency. Magnetic nanobeads (diameter, 30. nm) coated with anti-H5 antibodies were used for further amplification of the binding reaction between antibody and antigen (virus). Both bindings of target H5N1 viruses and magnetic nanobeads onto the crystal surface were further confirmed by environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). The QCM immunosensor could detect the H5N1 virus at a titer higher than 0.0128 HA unit within 2. h. The nanobeads amplification resulted in much better detection signal for target virus with lower titers. The response of the antibody-antigen (virus) interaction was shown to be virus titer-dependent, and a linear correlation between the logarithmic number of H5N1 virus titers and frequency shift was found from 0.128 to 12.8. HA unit. No significant interference was observed from non-target subtypes such as AI subtypes H3N2, H2N2, and H4N8. The immunosensor was evaluated using chicken tracheal swab samples. This research demonstrated that the magnetic nanobeads amplification based QCM immunosensor has a great potential to be an alternative method for rapid, sensitive, and specific detection of AI virus H5N1 in agricultural, food, environmental and clinical samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4146-4154
Number of pages9
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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