Optical technologies for the detection of viruses like COVID-19: Progress and prospects

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The outbreak of life-threatening pandemic like COVID-19 necessitated the development of novel, rapid and cost-effective techniques that facilitate detection of viruses like SARS-CoV-2. The presently popular approach of a collection of samples using the nasopharyngeal swab method and subsequent detection of RNA using the real-time polymerase chain reaction suffers from false-positive results and a longer diagnostic time scale. Alternatively, various optical techniques namely optical sensing, spectroscopy, and imaging shows a great promise in virus detection. Herein, a comprehensive review of the various photonics technologies employed for virus detection, particularly the SARS-CoV family, is discussed. The state-of-art research activities in utilizing the photonics tools such as near-infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence-based techniques, super-resolution microscopy, surface plasmon resonance-based detection, for virus detection accounted extensively with an emphasis on coronavirus detection. Further, an account of emerging photonics technologies of SARS-CoV-2 detection and future possibilities is also explained. The progress in the field of optical techniques for virus detection unambiguously show a great promise in the development of rapid photonics-based devices for COVID-19 detection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113004
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 15-04-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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