Skip to content
Virus sensor for mobile real-time analysis

On the Trail of the Coronavirus

Dortmund, 4th May 2020

While viruses are too small to be made visible visually, what they do can be made visible. The Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS) and the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 876 of the Technical University (TU) Dortmund would like to apply a measurement method to the novel corona virus Sars-Cov-2.

The cooperation between ISAS and TU Dortmund University, which has been in place since 2010, could result in an effective method for the containment of the novel coronavirus. With the PAMONO virus sensor, Dortmund physicists, computer scientists and mathematicians have developed an instrument with which analysis procedures can be carried out in real time and on site. PAMONO can also be used outside special laboratories to determine the infection status of large groups, for example airport passengers or residents of entire housing estates. It takes only a few minutes from sampling - saliva, blood or wastewater can be measured - to the test result. This measurement procedure can prevent the introduction, further spread and recurrence of viruses.

Der PAMONO Virensensor kann sichtbar machen, was Viren anrichten. Daher arbeiten Forscherinnen und Forscher des Leibniz-Instituts für Analytische Wissenschaften und der Technischen Universität Dortmund derzeit an seinem Einsatz gegen das neuartige Coronavirus.

The PAMONO virus sensor can make visible what viruses do.

The use of the PAMONO sensor is now also conceivable in the fight against the novel corona virus. To this end, scientists at ISAS and TU Dortmund University are currently working with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to prepare the PAMONO Sensor for the corona viruses.

This is because the PAMONO sensor works by exploiting a physical effect that bridges the gap between the micrometer and nanometer range: viruses - including corona viruses - are objects on the nanometer range and are therefore too small to be detected with optical microscopes, which can only access the micrometer range. Microscopes lack the necessary magnifying power for the direct detection of viruses. The PAMONO sensor, on the other hand, detects viruses indirectly by measuring changes in the so-called surface plasmon resonance that the viruses cause on the sensor. In principle, this is based on the detection of label-free biomolecular binding reactions on a gold surface, in a series of images taken with a CCD camera. Although the cause of a virus is only nanometres in size, the resonance as an effect extends over the micrometre range. These characteristic changes are determined by image and signal analysis methods based on special neural networks and allow the identification of different viral pathogens with high detection rates in real time.

"This makes viruses optically detectable, which makes a low-cost, mobile sensor and very fast tests possible," summarizes Dr. Roland Hergenröder, who heads the project group on the ISAS side. He hopes that with the availability of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, the PAMONO Sensor will soon be able to be used for the detection of the novel corona virus.

Sensor and analysis methods were developed in a cooperation of physicists, computer scientists and mathematicians of ISAS and the Chairs of Computer Graphics and Embedded Systems of TU Dortmund within the framework of the Collaborative Research Center 876, subproject B2 with the name "Resource-optimized real-time analysis of strongly artifact-laden image sequences for the detection of nanoobjects". This Collaborative Research Center is funded by the German Research Foundation with a total of 25 million Euros. Prof. Dr. Katharina Morik, founder and head of the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the Faculty of Computer Science at TU Dortmund University, successfully applied for Collaborative Research Centre 876 in 2011. "We are proud of the PAMONO sensor anyway; if it can now be used against corona, that's wonderful," Morik summarizes.

Share

Further press releases

24th January 2024

EfficientBioAI: New Open-Source Software Makes AI Models Lighter and Greener

Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of research. However, the better and more complex the models become, the higher their energy consumption. Researchers at ISAS and Peking University have therefore developed ready-to-use and open software that compresses existing bioimaging AI models. With the help of the new toolbox, scientists can now run their models faster and with significantly lower energy consumption.

Die Abbildung zeigt die 3D-Semantiksegmentierung von Osteozyten in Mäuseknochen vor und nach der Kompression des Modells mir EfficientBioAI Die Bilder wurden mittels Lichtblatt-Fluoreszenzmikroskopie aufgenommen.
11th December 2023

ComplexEye & AI Enable Faster Migration Analysis of Immune Cells

How and where immune cells such as neutrophil granulocytes migrate, for instance whether they infiltrate tumours, is crucial for cancer patients. They could benefit from drugs that prevent this migration. Until now, the migration behaviour of immune cells could only be investigated using conventional video microscopy. However, researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen and ISAS have now developed the ComplexEye. With their new microscope for the high-throughput analysis of drug substances, they are now able to analyse significantly higher numbers of neutrophils for their migration behaviour.

Vergleich ComplexEye-Objektiv und 28,5-mm-Objektiv eines konventionellen Mikroskops.
11th November 2022

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Funds Two Projects from Dortmund

To extend the image analysis platform napari, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is funding two projects of the ISAS research groups AMBIOM - Analysis of Microscopic BIOMedical Images and Spatial Metabolomics.

Die linke Abbildung zeigt eine Mikroskop-Aufnahme von Tumor-Zellen. Auf der rechten Seite ist die Segmentierung mittels gängiger Computerprogramme zu sehen. Sobald die Zellen dicht nebeneinander liegen oder überlappen (s. blaue Markierung) verschlechtert sich die Segmentierung. Das vollautomatische Tracking führt daher im Ergebnis zu Ungenauigkeiten.
18th November 2021

Kristina Lorenz Wins Phoenix Prize

Prof. Dr. Kristina Lorenz and her team found a peptide agent against heart failure. For this achievment, Lorenz has been awarded the Phoenix Pharmacy Prize in the category "Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy".

Die Würzburger Professorin Kristina Lorenz mit den drei anderen Trägern des 2021er Phoenix Pharmazie-Wissenschaftspreises.
20th September 2021

New AMBIOM Group: Jianxu Chen Wants to Develop „Eyes & Brains“

Led by Dr Jianxu Chen, the junior research group AMBIOM plans to develop algorithms and methods that will allow countless image data worldwide to be analysed automatically, quickly and economically.

Dr. Jianxu Chen hat seine Forschungsarbeit am ISAS aufgenommen.
21st July 2021

New Method for Molecular Functionalization of Surfaces

An interdisciplinary team of scientists present a new approach on how stable and yet very well-ordered molecular single layers can be produced on silicon surfaces - by self-assembly.

Hochaufgelöstes Rastertunnelmikroskopie-Bild der geordneten NHC-Einzellage auf Silizium; NHC steht für "N-heterozyklische Carbene" (Ausschnitt).