Researchers at the Imperial College of London alongside DNA Electronics have developed a new USB stick which can measure HIV levels in under 30 minutes.
While researchers around the globe are taking great strides to eliminate HIV once and for all, the application of testing individuals for the virus might just have become far more simple.
Researchers at the Imperial College of London, in conjunction with a UK-based biotech company named DNA Electronics, have created a USB stick which is capable of detecting HIV in an individual in a fraction of the time a standard test requires.
The USB stick, which functions by plugging into a computer, can measure the levels of HIV-1 in just 30 minutes. The process functions by changing the acidity in a single drop of blood and outputting the results as an electrical signal. which can be sent to a computer or mobile device.
Rather than send the results to a laboratory for analysis, the USB stick is capable of providing results on-the-fly which can be sent to a computer or mobile device.
The test will be ultimately more useful for those living with the virus than individuals looking to have themselves tested. While most common store kits can provide instantaneous results and can diagnose an HIV infection on-the-go, the USB stick created by researchers will provide a valuable utility for patients dependent on retroviral drugs.
The introduction of the technology – should it become a consumer product – would mean that patients would be able to monitor their HIV level in the comfort of their own home in the same manner diabetics monitor their blood-sugar level.
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Source: PHYS ORG