Physical methods for detection of viruses and bacteria, using tools of scanning probe microscopy
• scanning probe microscopy of bacterial cells;
• development of methods for virus detection in air and water environments;
• further improvement of biomedical scanning probe microscopy.
The laboratory works in the framework of the SKOLKOVO Foundation project "Sensor technologies for molecular diagnostics for personalized medicine". Modern scanning probe microscopy has become an effective tool for experimental work in biology. Informative historical overview of biological scanning probe microscopy is given in publication of Y. Dufrene and co-authors . Scanning capillary microscopy [2, 3] and high-speed scanning probe microscopy  should be noted as successfully developing areas. Capillary microscopy minimizes the impact on the object, which is especially important when observing cell structures with low mechanical stiffness like epithelial and endothelium cells, neurons, erythrocytes, leukocytes, neutrophils, etc. High-speed scanning probe microscopy allows to observe processes in living biological systems at the molecular level in real-time .
Based on the scanning probe microscopy tools, biosensors for the selective detection of influenza A virus with a potential sensitivity at the level of single pathogens are developed. A number of articles published in NANOINDUSTRY [9, 10] and in other leading journals [11, 12] are devoted to this area. For the detection of viral particles in the atomic force microscope, a flow-through liquid cell of the original design was created. Unlike most other commercially available solutions, this cell is completely sealed, and it can be mounted on the microscope and removed for measurements on other equipment without breaking the tightness. Design of the cells is protected by patents [13, 14]. In the atomic force microscope in real time it is possible to observe the adsorption of the virus on the surface of the biochip (plates with sensor layers based on polymers with sialic acids), which is placed into the flow-through cell.
The scanning probe microscope is an effective tool to study the morphology and properties of bacterial cells. When observing cells in air, atomic force microscopy allows to study in detail the morphological characteristics of their surface.
To ensure the operation of the research laboratory of physical methods in biomedicine, the Advanced Technologies Center has its own production facilities with machining milling center Hurco VX M1, contour band saw and drilling machines with sets of bench, lathe and milling tools. This infrastructure is an essential tool for the effective embodiment of scientific ideas of laboratory into the finished product.
The Nanotechnology youth innovation creativity centre that is established by the company with the support of the government of Moscow helps to solve several tasks. First, it attracts to the innovative creativity young people who may later become successful employees of the company. Secondly, the scientific laboratory may place orders for modeling and prototyping in the centre, which have a computer lab for 3D design and programming, machine shop with CNC lathe, three milling machines АТС NANO, laser engraving machine SharpLase Pro, 3D scanner Sense, 3D-printers Picaso, electronic equipment. In the framework of the innovation activity we establish the chain "training-development-production", which should greatly accelerate both the generation of new ideas and their implementation in practice in the form of innovative products. ■
The authors express their sincere gratitude to the Government of Moscow, Department of science, industrial policy and entrepreneurship of Moscow, Ministry of economic development (contract No. 8/3-63ин-16 from 22.08.16), the Innovation Promotion Fund (project No. ГЦМИТ1/16315) and RFBR (project 16-29-06290) for financial support of projects.