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White Paper: Medical

Quantification of the Removal and Inactivation of Virus Particles


There is frequently a need to remove from or inactivate viruses in biological fluids or water to ensure the liquid is not contaminated. Viral inactivation causes viruses to become non-infectious using chemically altered membranes. Rather than removing all the virus particles, many viruses can be inactivated by chemical interactions and can safely remain in the fluid after inactivation. Some processes disassemble the virus particles and further the inactivation procedure, rendering them harmless to the final product. This research is crucial for water purification, blood tests and treatments, and in the food industry.

In this case study, researchers from the Netherlands develop and demonstrate a new method of quantifying and characterizing antiviral properties of polymer-functionalized surfaces for virus filtration and inactivation. Specifically, a polyethylenimine (PEI)-coated poly (ether sulfone) (PES) micro-filtration membrane was used to adsorb, inactivate, and disassemble virus capsids. Using fluorescence microscopy, spectroscopy, and single particle counting, only a small fraction (1%) of intact viruses can pass through the membrane, and a large fraction of viruses became inactivated and disassembled. This new method provides a simpler and faster quantification and characterization technique for virus filtration and inactivation in the medical and biological world.

In this single particle counting design with fluorescence microscopy, researchers benefited from Wavelength Electronics' laser diode driver, LD5CHA, with worry-free setup and easy integration. The LD5CHA enabled precise current control of the laser diode with minimal electronic noise from the driver, leading to better spectra recordings and data analysis. The laser driver ensured narrow linewidth from the laser diode for precise detection of the fluorescence spectra. This makes the developed method for quantifying and characterizing the anti-viral properties of the functionalized membrane a reliable tool for biological and medical applications in virus retention and inactivation.

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