Project #5104

Use of DNA Nanostructures as Viral Surrogates in Potable Reuse Applications

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Harry Zhang, PhD, PE
Southern Nevada Water Authority
Microbes & Pathogens
Water Quality
Reuse: Potable


This research developed and validated novel surrogates for awarding virus log reduction values (LRVs) in membrane-based potable reuse systems. Specifically, the project involves three research themes: (1) development and characterization of DNA nanostructures that mimic virus morphology, (2) use of off-line and on-line flow cytometry to validate DNA nanostructures as viral surrogates in laboratory-scale and pilot-scale membrane systems, and (3) use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to target novel viruses for low-volume, in situ assessments of membrane integrity. This research introduces the water reuse industry to a novel technology known as DNA origami, which has the potential to augment the toolbox of surrogate parameters available for direct integrity testing of membranes. Published in 2023.