A biosensor combining the sensitivity of surface acoustic waves (SAW) generated at a frequency of 325 MHz with the specificity provided by antibodies and other ligands for the detection of viral agents. In a preferred embodiment, a lithium tantalate based SAW transducer with silicon dioxide waveguide sensor platform featuring three test and one reference delay lines was used to adsorb antibodies directed against Coxsackie virus B4 or the negative-stranded category A bioagent Sin Nombre virus (SNV). Rapid detection of increasing concentrations of viral particles was linear over a range of order of magnitude for both viruses, and the sensor's selectivity for its target was not compromised by the presence of confounding Herpes Simplex virus type 1 The biosensor was able to delect SNV at doses lower than the load of virus typically found in a human patient suffering from hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS).
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT CLAUSE
This invention was made with government support under grant no. IIS-0434120 awarded by the National Science Foundation and grant no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.