Label-free imaging, detection, and mass measurement of single viruses by surface plasmon resonance

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Sep 14;107(37):16028-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1005264107. Epub 2010 Aug 26.


We report on label-free imaging, detection, and mass/size measurement of single viral particles in solution by high-resolution surface plasmon resonance microscopy. Diffraction of propagating plasmon waves along a metal surface by the viral particles creates images of the individual particles, which allow us to detect the binding of the viral particles to surfaces functionalized with and without antibodies. We show that the intensity of the particle image is related to the mass of the particle, from which we determine the mass and mass distribution of influenza viral particles with a mass detection limit of approximately 1 ag (or 0.2 fg/mm(2)). This work demonstrates a multiplexed method to measure the masses of individual viral particles and to study the binding activity of the viral particles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / chemistry*
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / isolation & purification
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / instrumentation
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / methods*
  • Surface Properties
  • Virion / chemistry


  • Silicon Dioxide