Nanofluidics for the study of viral particle transport
Léa Chazot-Franguiadakis (ENS Lyon)
From a physical point of view, viruses are biological objects with remarkable mechanical and thermodynamic properties. Their detection and characterisation are currently major public health issues. In this context, the transport of viruses through nanopores is of interest both
from a fundamental and a technological point of view, as a method to probe viral properties. We use a mimetic approach of a biological pore, the nuclear pore complex, which is taken by some viruses to access the nucleus. It has an exceptional selectivity due to the presence of a network of polymers forming a dynamic gel within its central channel. To better understand the characteristics of this transport we build a simplified and controlled environment based on functionalized nanoporous membranes. The transport of viral particles is studied using an optical detection method with adjustable specificity. Our device allows real-time detection of single viral particle transport at the level of a single pore. Our approach allows us to address technological issues, such as the quantification of virus concentration, for which we have developed a versatile method with a low detection limit. It also enables to address fundamental questions about viruspore interactions. In particular, we have highlighted an aggregation phenomenon related to the strong confinement of viruses under flow in the nanopore. The modelling of this phenomenon provides access to interaction parameters between the viruses and between the viruses and the pore.
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