Here we identify and quantitate two similar viruses, human and feline immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and FIV), suspended in a liquid medium without labeling, using a semiconductor technique. The virus count was estimated by calculating the impurities inside a defined volume by observing the change in electrical parameters. Empirically, the virus count was similar to the absolute value of the ratio of the change of the virus suspension dopant concentration relative to the mock dopant over the change in virus suspension Debye volume relative to mock Debye volume. The virus type was identified by constructing a concentration-mobility relationship which is unique for each kind of virus, allowing for a fast (within minutes) and label-free virus quantification and identification. For validation, the HIV and FIV virus preparations were further quantified by a biochemical technique and the results obtained by both approaches corroborated well. We further demonstrate that the electrical technique could be applied to accurately measure and characterize silica nanoparticles that resemble the virus particles in size. Based on these results, we anticipate our present approach to be a starting point towards establishing the foundation for label-free electrical-based identification and quantification of an unlimited number of viruses and other nano-sized particles.
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