Infectious diseases account for one quarter of global deaths and massive economic loss. Pathogen discovery is critical in combating infectious diseases. However, the causative agents in a large percentage of clinical infectious disease cases remain unidentified. Often occurring in resource-limited areas, major outbreaks were caused by newly emerging viruses, mostly wildlife-originated. The pressing challenges in viral infectious diseases call for a sample-to-answer virus discovery platform that can prepare viral samples from environmental and clinical samples for high throughput sequencing based virus discovery. In this proposed research, we will develop a new carbon nanotube 3D sample preparation and enrichment microdevice (CNT- 3D-SPEM) that employs engineered carbon nanotube material, as shown in our preliminary study, into a new continuous flow microfluidic design for virus particle enrichment. The new microfluidic design has a unique self- regulating flow mechanism to achieve high virus capture efficiency and high sample capacity and flow rate simultaneously. After enrichment, the captured viruses are lyzed inside the CNT-3D-SPEM. The viral genome will be purified and amplified in situ, which are required sample preparation steps for virus discovery through high throughput sequencing. Working with co-investigators together, we will conduct multiple pilot studies that use the developed technology for virus discovery from clinical and environmental samples. The ultimate goal is to develop the entire high-performance portable platform to advance virus discovery for the battle with viral infectious diseases.
A nanomaterial-integrated microdevice will be developed as a portable sample-to-answer platform for viral discovery. The device can rapidly enrich virus with high efficiency, then purify and amplify virus genome inside the device. Coupled with portable high throughput sequencer, the technology can advance virus discovery from environmental and clinical samples.