Biosensor detection of airborne respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2

Lane E. Breshears, Brandon T. Nguyen, Samantha Mata Robles, Lillian Wu, Jeong Yeol Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission represents a significant route for possible human infection that is not yet fully understood. Viruses in droplets and aerosols are difficult to detect because they are typically present in low amounts. In addition, the current techniques used, such as RT-PCR and virus culturing, require large amounts of time to get results. Biosensor technology can provide rapid, handheld, and point-of-care systems that can identify virus presence quickly and accurately. This paper reviews the background of airborne virus transmission and the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, its relative risk for transmission even at distances greater than the currently suggested 6 feet (or 2 m) physical distancing. Publications on biosensor technology that may be applied to the detection of airborne SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses are also summarized. Based on the current research we believe that there is a pressing need for continued research into handheld and rapid methods for sensitive collection and detection of airborne viruses. We propose a paper-based microfluidic chip and immunofluorescence assay as one method that could be investigated as a low-cost and portable option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-17
Number of pages14
JournalSLAS Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Aerosol
  • Air sampling
  • COVID-19
  • Droplet
  • Point-of-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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