In-vitro viral studies are still fundamental for biomedical research since studying the virus kinetics on cells is crucial for the determination of the biological properties of viruses and for screening the inhibitors of infections. Moreover, testing potential viral contaminants is often mandatory for safety evaluation. Nowadays, viral cytopathic effects are mainly evaluated through end-point assays requiring dye-staining combined with optical evaluation. Recently, optical-based automatized equipment has been marketed, aimed at the real-time screening of cell-layer status and obtaining further insights, which are unavailable with end-point assays. However, these technologies present two huge limitations, namely, high costs and the possibility to study only cytopathic viruses, whose effects lead to plaque formation and layer disruption. Here, we employed poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (Pedot:Pss) organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) for the real-time, electrical monitoring of the infection of cytolytic viruses, i.e., encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), and non-cytolytic viruses, i.e., bovine coronavirus (B-CoV), on cells. OECT data on EMCV were validated using a commercially-available optical-based technology, which, however, failed in the B-CoV titration analysis, as expected. The OECTs proved to be reliable, fast, and versatile devices for viral infection monitoring, which could be scaled up at low cost, reducing the operator workload and speeding up in-vitro assays in the biomedical research field.
Organic Electrochemical Transistors as Versatile Tool for Real-Time and Automatized Viral Cytopathic Effect Evaluation / Decataldo, Francesco; Giovannini, Catia; Grumiro, Laura; Marino, Maria Michela; Faccin, Francesca; Brandolini, Martina; Dirani, Giorgio; Taddei, Francesca; Lelli, Davide; Tessarolo, Marta; Calienni, Maria; Cacciotto, Carla; De Pascali, Alessandra Mistral; Lavazza, Antonio; Fraboni, Beatrice; Sambri, Vittorio; Scagliarini, Alessandra. - In: VIRUSES. - ISSN 1999-4915. - 14:6(2022), p. 1155. [10.3390/v14061155]