Researchers at A-STAR Institute of Microelectronics have developed silicon nanowire-based biosensor that can detect dengue type 2 (DEN-2) viruses in less than 30 minutes.

The biosensor device uses silicon nanowires affixed with peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes, to identify complementary DNA fragments of DEN-2.

The researchers conducted a study, which showed that the device could be used to identify a complementary DNA fragment of DEN-2 that is 69 base pairs long, in less than 30 minutes.

Lead researcher Guo-Jun Zhang said the silicon nanowire-based device will reduce the reliance on labor-intensive and time-consuming laboratory tests requiring trained laboratory staff.

The researchers are planning to integrate their device into handheld diagnostic systems.