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With Ultimate Goal of Improving Virus Knowledge, Team Now Will Use its Optomechanical System to Design a Prototype for Airborne Virus Analysis
GRENOBLE, France – Oct. 13, 2020 – Targeting analysis of biological particles with large aspect ratios, such as viruses or fibrils, CEA scientists have demonstrated a breakthrough in single-particle mass spectrometry (MS) that could fast track the detection of viral particles in hospitals, offices, airplanes and other public places.
The results of the work were published in a paper titled "Optomechanical Mass Spectrometry" in Nature Communications in July.
This demonstration of on-chip optomechanics as a superior alternative to electromechanical resonators for high-resolution, single-particle mass spectrometry paves the way to the analysis of viruses regardless of their shape, rigidity or position," said Sebastien Hentz, director of research at CEA-Leti. The capture area is 10 times larger han existing MS sensors, which translates into faster and more accurate analysis.
Building on our demonstration of a proof of concept of mass detection in this highly challenging mass range, we are now working toward the development of a new optomechanical mass spectrometer desktop prototype that could detect and characterize airborne viral particles of any shape, Hentz added. For this purpose, our photonics-derived fabrication process is easily amenable to the multiplexing of a large number of resonators using standard wavelength-division multiplexing and packaging techniques."
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.