Researchers Develop USB Device to Diagnose HIV
British researchers at Imperial College in London teamed up with hardware developers to create a new way to diagnose HIV using a USB device plugged into a computer that analyzes blood.
According to iMedicalApps, researchers described the device as a “complementary metal-oxide semiconductor chip based, pH-mediated, point-of-care HIV-1 viral load monitoring assay that simultaneously amplifies and detects HIV-1 RNA.”
Using a small blood sample, the device tests for the presence of the HIV-1 RNA. The portable and disposable device takes only 30 minutes to deliver results by plugging it into any device with a USB port.
The researchers tested the device on 991 plasma samples. The results fell short of what would be necessary for a mass screening program, but it provided a proof-of-concept.
“This is a great example of how this new analysis technology has the potential to transform how patients with HIV are treated by providing a fast, accurate and portable solution,” said Chris Toumazou, founder of the hardware developer DNAe and executive chairman and professor at Imperial. “At DNAe, we are already applying this highly adaptable technology to address significant global threats to health, where treatment is time-critical and needs to be right first time.