Research Highlight

Biosensor for detecting dengue virus

doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.71 Published online 20 June 2017

Researchers have developed a sensitive biosensor that can detect all types of dengue viruses1. It will be effective at diagnosing dengue fever in humans at an early stage.

Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans via mosquitoes and cause lethal fever. Existing detection methods cannot identify the four types of dengue viruses.

To make an efficient and versatile sensor, scientists from the Amity University in Uttar Pradesh, and Maharshi Dayanand University in Haryana synthesized the biosensor by depositing nanoparticles of zinc oxide, palladium, and platinum on a fluorine-doped tin oxide electrode. They then coated the electrode with a probe DNA and tested its efficiency in detecting dengue viruses.    

A significant reduction in current was observed when the biosensor’s probe DNA bound to a complementary target DNA made using RNA from dengue viruses.

The biosensor can be regenerated by dipping it in a sodium hydroxide solution for five minutes. After regeneration, it retained its ability to show similar current response when exposed to a target DNA.

This device can be used as a lab-on-chip disease diagnosis platform at a point of care for detecting all individual serotypes of dengue virus on a paper-based substrate, the researchers say. 


1. Singhal, C. et al. A genosensor for detection of consensus DNA sequence of Dengue virus using ZnO/Pt-Pd nanocomposites. Biosense. Bioelectron. 97, 75-82 (2017)