Thursday, November 10, 2016

USBs used as a home HIV test

DNA Electronics and Imperial College London worked together to create a USB device that can analyze pH levels from a drop of blood and determine HIV viral load. This device can then display the information on a laptop or handheld device with a USB port after 30 minutes of analysis. This is a markedly fast improvement compared to the traditional laboratory tests that take 3 days to give results.

People with HIV must regularly check their viral load to monitor the efficacy of antivirals. Additionally, regular viral load tests are used to see if any drug-resistant forms of the virus are emerging. This technology can also be useful in quickly determining new infections, like, for example, if a baby is infected with HIV. Researchers suggest that this technology can be beneficial in making HIV/AIDS care in Sub-Saharan Africa, and other places with similarly limited health infrastructure, much easier. Given that this technology is small, portable, and doesn’t require power (except for the computer that reads the results) or refrigeration, it can be powerful tool for global public health.

Finally, the researchers are currently investigating whether this tool can be useful in monitoring hepatitis and other contagious, chronic viruses.

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1 comment:

Innocent Saqib said...

I read that Post and got it fine and informative. instant hiv test