Zika virus could be transmitted sexually. This discovery has been documented already, but the risks were not well understood. It was unknown whether other flaviviruses could be transmitted in the same manner.
Using nanotechnology, the research team developed tiny platinum nanomotors to target Zika and microbeads to bind the virus. When they are added to a sample containing Zika, a 3D complex is formed which moves in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. This unique motion signal can be perceived using a smartphone by attaching it to a cost-effective optical device. The 3D Zika complex moves rapidly compared to the slower movement of other non-target viruses.
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