Zika and Dengue are diseases caused by viruses of the Flaviviridae family and transmitted mainly by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. They have global range and reach essentially tropical and subtropical regions. Although there are detection techniques, such as ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction), they take time and are high cost, making it impossible the use to broad diagnosis in the public health system. Virus identification is important to update the epidemiological data, which allow the assessment of effectiveness for vector combat measures, specially for women who desire to get pregnant, due to the fact that Zika can cause microcephaly. Biosensors represent a rapid and low cost alternative for Dengue and Zika virus detection. Colorimetric biosensors show advantages, such as fast response, simple equipment’s and low level specialization for handling. Nanomaterials have been widely associated to biosensors due to its optical and electronic properties, improving the performance. Then, this project aims to develop a colorimetric biosensor, that consists in DNA association to gold nanoparticles and nanorods, highlighting its innovation through the development of a hybrid system. The nanomaterials will be synthesized and characterized by physical-chemical techniques. This colorimetric biosensor is expected to be capable of distinguishing between Zika and Dengue samples.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: