ONI joins the fight against COVID-19

ONI is supporting the global effort into research and diagnostics to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently directing all collaborative and R&D efforts towards this goal.


  • Ultrasensitive, amplification-free detection of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Deep phenotyping of virus-cell interactions
  • Remote operation, after sample loading
  • Full functionality within biosafety cabinets

If you have ideas about how we can support your COVID-19 research efforts, please get in touch.

Research examples for COVID-19 with ONI technology

How does the virus exploit the host cell machinery?

Ebola hijacks the actin network

These super-resolution images show the effect of Ebola virus-like particles on the actin cytoskeleton. The virus particles co-localize with the disrupted actin network. This reveals how exactly the virus is able to replicate in its host, providing researchers with insights into possible targets for therapeutics. The data was acquired in collaboration with Professor Stephan Becker, a world class virologist at Philipps-Universität, Marburg.

A) Infected cells
B) Control cell
C) Actin-np colocalization
dSTORM image of actin stained with PhalloidinAF647 and antibodies to nucleoprotein-AF555 in Ebola virus-like particle transfected cells.
Professor S Becker lab, Philipps-Universität Marburg.

A) infected actin
B) healthy cell
C) virus protein
nucleoprotein colocalizes with disrupted actin network

Single-particle tracking of influenza HA (HA-Dendra) inside HEK293T cells, Prof. Salvatore Chiantia, University of Potsdam.


Quantify virus assembly in live cells

Influenza assembles on the plasma membrane

Viruses hijack and exploit their hosts’ cells to replicate and spread. The packaging of new viral particles occurs at the plasma membrane of infected cells. We can understand these assembly sites by visualizing the motion and interactions of key proteins, such as those forming the viral envelope. In this case we followed single HA proteins, part of the influenza viral envelope, with Prof. Salvo Chianti of University of Potsdam.

Understanding the effects of viral infection

Rhinovirus disrupts the Golgi apparatus

Imaging cells after infection with a virus can reveal much about the viral mechanism of action. In 2014, Mousnier et al showed how human rhinovirus affects Golgi disruption and protein secretion (doi: 10.1128/JVI.01170-14). We visited Queen’s University Belfast to replicate some of these experiments. Note how the Golgi is left intact in the uninfected cells.


Rhinovirus (viral protein 2C-AF647) infects HeLa cells and disrupts the Golgi apparatus (GM130-AF488). Acquired with Drs A Mousnier and G Schroeder, Queen’s University Belfast.


Your safety comes first

The Nanoimager has been validated in biosafety cabinets as well as on the lab bench, has a tiny footprint and is remotely operable. The ideal platform for containment labs.