Now your Cellphone can Easily Detect HIV by this New Tool- Researchers Says

Now your Cellphone can Easily Detect HIV by this New Tool- Researchers Says

HIV, human immunodeficiency virus 1 is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the own healthy body cells. For researchers, doctors, and patients it has become one of the most challenging health issues especially in the countries where there are poor infrastructure and medical facilities.

The researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have come up with an easy to handle and cheaper mobile diagnostic tool, making use of cellphone and nanotechnology. This tool will help them to detect HIV viruses and handle the conditions accordingly at the poorly managed areas. This research is published in a recent paper, Nature Communications.

“Early detection of HIV is critical to prevent disease progression and transmission, and it requires long-term monitoring, which can be a burden for families that have to travel to reach a clinic or hospital,” said senior author Hadi Shafiee, Ph.D., a principal investigator in the Division of Engineering in Medicine and Renal Division of Medicine at the Brigham.

“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 traditional methods used to detect the HIV viruses are quite expensive as they make use of polymerase chain reaction- PCR. Shaifee and his team members decided to discover a method which will use a simple yet an affordable tool so that everyone will be able to have access in the less developed countries where they lack in medical facilities.

The researchers tried to create a setting by which they will only need a single drop of blood to detect and identify the ribonucleic acids of the HIV virus. For creating this platform they only made use of a cellphone, nanotechnology, a microchip, and 3D printed phone attachment.

Without using heavy or expensive components the device can recognize the HIV nucleic acids by looking at the motion of DNA engineered beads. The precision of the instrument was carefully evaluated to make sure the tool is working best in accordance with the two main factors specificity and sensitivity.

The researchers were quite successful in their project as the tool was able to detect the HIV viruses with 99.1% and 94.6 % specificity and sensitivity respectively. They conducted out the clinical trial on 1,000 virus particles/ml and were able to achieve their results within an hour.

The most important thing to notice is that all the components of the tool cost used per test only cost less than $5 which is quite affordable as compared to the traditional methods of detection.

“Health workers in developing countries could easily use these devices when they travel to perform HIV testing and monitoring. Because the test is so quick, critical decisions about the next medical step could be made right there,” said Shafiee.

“This would eliminate the burden of trips to the medical clinic and provide individuals with a more efficient means for managing their HIV.”

“We could use this same technology as a rapid and low-cost diagnostic tool for other viruses and bacteria as well,” said lead author Mohamed Shehata Draz, ¬¬Ph.D., an instructor in the Division of Engineering in Medicine and Renal Division of Medicine at the Brigham… “This platform could help a lot of people worldwide.”




Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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