Polydiacetylene-Based Biosensors for the Detection of Viruses and Related Biomolecules

Xiaomin Qian, Brigitte Städler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Viruses are a major threat to the wellbeing of humans, animals, and plants. The current diagnostics of viral RNA/DNA are largely dependent on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and related concepts. Serological and immunological assays on the other hand aim to identify the presence of antibodies. Alternative approaches that consider non-biological entities as part of the sensing set-up might be a complementary path to alleviate the pressure on access to high-quality biomolecules and PCR reagents. In this context, polydiacetylenes are widely explored as biosensors because these polymers can be synthesized in situ only with the assistance of light in the desired environment. In addition, this unique group of polymers can be utilized as biosensors to detect an assortment of biomolecules and pathogens with dual optical outputs. The detection of viruses and related biomolecules with polydiacetylenes have been explored over the course of the past three decades. This progress report aims to provide a comprehensive summary of polydiacetylene-based biosensors for the detection of viruses and also related biomolecules, including nucleic acids and proteins. Given the current situation, this progress report will hopefully inspire scientists and contribute to the development of novel biosensors for the fast and effective detection of viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2004605
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • colorimetric response
  • fluorescence
  • polydiacetylene
  • virus detection


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