Research Highlight

Fast, disposable biosensor for detecting chikungunya virus

doi:10.1038/nindia.2018.66 Published online 25 May 2018

Researchers have synthesised a disposable biosensor that can detect traces of chikungunya virus DNA in the blood samples of infected patients, allowing the early diagnosis of chikungunya1.

Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease, infects thousands of people every year in the developing world. In 2016, India witnessed a massive outbreak of chikungunya. Since there is no treatment for this disease, rapid detection is needed for early diagnosis.

In search of a fast-detecting technique, scientists from India’s Amity University in Uttar Pradesh, Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and Maharishi Dayanand University in Haryana, led by Jagriti Narang and Manika Khanuja, produced the biosensor by coating a screen-printed gold electrode with molybdenum disulphide nanosheets. They then attached a probe DNA to the biosensor, which binds to chikungunya DNA.

When exposed to target virus DNA, the probe DNA on the biosensor bound to the target DNA. The binding between the probe DNA and the target DNA led to a decrease in current response.

The sensor was able to detect the virus DNA in 10 seconds, retaining its efficiency to detect the virus up to five days on reuse.

The biosensor was able to detect virus DNA amounts as low as 3.4 nanomoles, showing its efficiency in diagnosing chikungunya. In the next phase of research, the researchers are planning to devise the sensor using a paper-based electrode which will make it cheaper, says Narang. 


1. Singhal, C. et al. Detection of chikungunya virus DNA using two-dimensional MoS2 nanosheets based disposable biosensor. Sci. Rep.8, 7734 (2018)