Cellphone technology developed to detect HIV
Cellphone technology developed to detect HIV
The management of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV), remains a major global health challenge in developing countries that lack infrastructure and trained medical professionals.

Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have designed a portable and affordable mobile diagnostic tool, utilizing a cellphone and nanotechnology, with the ability to detect HIV viruses and monitor its management in resource-limited regions. The novel platform is described in a paper published recently in Nature Communications.

"This rapid and low-cost cellphone system represents a new method for detecting acute infection, which would reduce the risk of virus transmission and could also be used to detect early treatment failure." the authors write in the research paper.

Utilizing nanotechnology, a microchip, a cellphone and a 3D-printed phone attachment, the researchers created a platform that can detect the RNA nucleic acids of the virus from a single drop of blood. The device detects the amplified HIV nucleic acids through on-phone monitoring of the motion of DNA-engineered beads without using bulky or expensive equipment. The detection precision was evaluated for specificity and sensitivity.

Researchers found that the platform allowed the detection of HIV with 99.1 percent specificity and 94.6 percent sensitivity at a clinically relevant threshold value of 1,000 virus particles/ml, with results within one hour. Notably, the total material cost of the microchip, phone attachment and reagents was less than $5 per test.

Traditional virus monitoring methods for HIV are expensive, requiring the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Shafiee and his colleagues sought to design an affordable, simple tool that makes HIV testing and monitoring possible for individuals in developing countries with less access to medical care.

More here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181109112642.htm
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