Uncovering Zika

This research focuses on creating a novel rapid diagnostic test for Zika Virus NS1 protein using nanoribbon microfluidics.

Summary of Research

As the Zika virus (ZIKV) global health epidemic continues to emerge, the necessity for rapid and sensitive viral detection methods is critical in advancing diagnosis. Current methods of ZIKV
detection, which use ELISAs coupled to colorimetric readouts, are available but require large sample volumes and are time consuming. The integration of microfluidics and silicon nanoribbon technology (narrow strips of highly sensitive, low electrical noise transistors) provide potential advantages over current systems, including sensitive, low volume, and time efficient

The experimental objective is to compare the nanoribbon, pH meter, and optical detection systems of Zika virus Non-Structural Protein 1 (ZIKV NS1) at various concentrations ranging from 0 nM to 28 nM. ZIKV trials include three comparative experiments: (1) a well plate ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) with horse radish peroxidase and optical readout; (2) a well plate ELISA with urease and pH and nanoribbon readouts; and (3) a microfluidic ELISA with urease and nanoribbon readout. Each experiment has yielded stepwise increases in color, pH, and voltage steps which paralleled increases in ZIKV concentration, demonstrating relative concentration dependence.

Though results of this ongoing experiment are pending, the nanoribbon system, while still early in development, holds promise as a sensitive method for ZIKV NS1 and other proteins associated with epidemic viruses. Studies to improve the sensitivity by reducing drift and noise will enhance the development of this system.

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Uncovering Zika

This research focuses on creating a novel rapid diagnostic test for Zika Virus NS1 protein using nanoribbon microfluidics.

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2018 ScienceBuzz Symposium

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We are excited to announce the first annual ScienceBuzz Symposium, dedicated to middle and high school students. The conference and registration is completely free! Currently, the symposium date is June 9, 2018.

Pre-register for the symposium by visiting the conference website or clicking here. There are a limited number of seats and we expect to fill up quickly, so register ASAP. The event will include several internationally-renowned speakers, workshop sessions, company exhibitions, scholarships, and research presentations. 


The 2018 ScienceBuzz Symposium is the first, completely free conference exclusively for middle and high school students. Our theme for this year is “One Day of Powerful Talks.”

It will be hosted in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, but will include students from around the state and nearby regions. The event will have national guest keynote speakers (including a Nobel Prize Laureate, the head of a leading scientific institution, college admissions officers, university professors, leaders in gifted education, and top biopharma executives). It will also include workshop sessions, student poster presentations, five research scholarship awards, organizational and company exhibitions, and unique networking opportunities.

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