Rapid Detection of Ebola Virus with a Reagent-Free, Point-of-Care Biosensor. Academic Article uri icon


  • Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors can rapidly detect Ebola antigens at the point-of-care without the need for added reagents, sample processing, or specialized personnel. This preliminary study demonstrates SAW biosensor detection of the Ebola virus in a concentration-dependent manner. The detection limit with this methodology is below the average level of viremia detected on the first day of symptoms by PCR. We observe a log-linear sensor response for highly fragmented Ebola viral particles, with a detection limit corresponding to 1.9 × 104 PFU/mL prior to virus inactivation. We predict greatly improved sensitivity for intact, infectious Ebola virus. This point-of-care methodology has the potential to detect Ebola viremia prior to symptom onset, greatly enabling infection control and rapid treatment. This biosensor platform is powered by disposable AA batteries and can be rapidly adapted to detect other emerging diseases in austere conditions.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015