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Detection of viruses via microwave dielectric spectroscopy

analytical techniqueCellular analysiscovid-19Dielectric spectroscopymicrowavemolecular analysisVirus


A procedure consisting of a hardware set-up, a measurement methodology and a subsequent numerical processing of the acquired data, capable of detecting, through the dielectric spectroscopy technique applied in the microwave frequency band, the presence of viral agents dipped in a buffer solution. The proposed technique aims to establish, in a quick and operationally easy way, the possible presence of different types of viruses from the sample under examination, by directly detecting the intrinsic permittivity of the target solution using a broadband dielectric spectrum.

Technical features

The invention consists of a procedure capable of detecting, through the use of microwaves, the presence of viral agents present in a reference buffer solution. The method is based on a differential approach of microwave dielectric spectroscopy in which a reference measurement of the solution is first carried out in the absence of viral agents and subsequently a second measurement of the solution of interest. The tests carried out on virus-like particles (VLP), characterized by non-infectious properties, not containing viral genetic material, allowed to verify the presence of the VLPs in aqueous solution (for example saline phosphate buffer) with satisfactory characteristics in terms of sensitivity and repeatability of results. This prototype measurement system has demonstrated the validity of the proposed procedure. The state of development is identifiable in a TRL3 level having been obtained the first experimental tests.

Possible Applications

  • Molecular analysis;
  • Cellular analysis.


  • Sensitivity of results;
  • Non-destructive characterization of the sample;
  • Non-invasiveness of tests;
  • No contamination or disturbance of the biomaterial.