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CDs offer promise for virus detection
16 May 2006
Chemists in Spain have used compact discs to detect different plant viruses using microarrays of DNA.
Angel Maquieira and his team at the University of Valencia showed that CDs have potential as molecular screening surfaces for biosensing. Their high optical quality and large surface area can afford many different arrays.
They used the methodology to distinguish between different genetic variations of the plant virus known as the Plum Pox virus. Computational data clearly showed a separation of the virus types, and the CD array represented a quick and reliable way to detect viruses.
Compact disc surfaces made from polycarbonate allow the development of chemical assays in a high density format. Previously, glass chips were more commonly used, but CDs have the advantage that larger numbers of samples can be simultaneously analysed. In addition CDs can be easily read by a CD player, and are cheap to produce.
Maquieria is positive about the future of the technique. 'We truly bet that CD technology will greatly facilitate high throughout screening to widespread bioanalytical applications,' he said.
Maquieira now wants to develop a CD player for use as a detector. He said that this would dramatically increase the sensitivity and portability of microarraying based assays.
ReferencesS Morais, R Marco-Moles, R Puchades and A Maquieira, Chem. Commun., 2006