Viruses are pathogenic microorganisms that can inhabit and replicate in human bodies causing a number of widespread infectious diseases such as influenza, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, meningitis, pneumonia, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) etc. A majority of these viral diseases are contagious and can spread from infected to healthy human beings. The most important step in the treatment of these contagious diseases and to prevent their unwanted spread is to timely detect the disease-causing viruses. Gravimetric viral diagnostics based on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) transducers and natural or synthetic receptors are miniaturized sensing platforms that can selectively recognize and quantify harmful virus species. Herein, a review of the label-free QCM virus sensors for clinical diagnostics and point of care (POC) applications is presented with major emphasis on the nature and performance of different receptors ranging from the natural or synthetic antibodies to selective macromolecular materials such as DNA and aptamers. A performance comparison of different receptors is provided and their limitations are discussed.
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