Researchers at Imperial College London have created a simple and quick HIV test that is both more sensitive and 10 times cheaper than existing methods. The new test, which uses nanotechnology to produce results visible to the naked eye, could be invaluable in poorer countries that lack sophisticated laboratory equipment.
To detect the AIDS-causing virus using the new method, researchers add serum from a patient's blood sample to a solution of gold nanoparticles. If the nanoparticles come into contact with an HIV biomarker called p24, they clump together into an irregular pattern that turns the mixture blue--indicating a positive test result. If p24 is absent, the gold nanoparticles separate into ball shapes, and the mixture turns red, signaling a negative result.
Lead investigator Molly Stevens said the test could be altered to detect other diseases, including malaria, sepsis, prostate cancer, tuberculosis, and leishmaniasis.
The study appears in Nature Nanotechnology.
The big question is if this could be used to stamp HIV out. Could it be used as an implant in at risk groups, to detect the early presence of HIV, the implant connects to the patient’s cell phone by encrypted blue tooth. The phone app calls the doctor, places an order with the nearest pharmacy, and calls the patient to put them on an antiviral regiment to prevent HIV from taking hold in the body. “An HIV test is cheaper than any hysteria or paranoia”
In troubleshooting any problem, it must to clearly been identified. I hope this technology lowers the spread of the disease and helps with a cure soon!
YES MEDICAL SCIENCE!
No. That may help them in some locations but a lot of the places that HIV is spreading fast are places with no clean source of drinking water or electricity let alone everyone having cell phones.
Good discovery though. Not having to send samples off to be tested then trying to match up the results with the patient will help a lot. Another problem they have is people who do actually get tested leave and may not return for a year or more.
A simple LED in the implant under the skin could take the place of a cell phone. Availability of virus stopping drugs is still a problem in the third world. Eliminating and washing sacrificial cells, by circumcision, washing, and urinating should reduce HIV out of most of its heterosexual population. Sacrificial cells carry fungi from thin moist skin (the underside of the foreskin, and the urethra) into the blood stream to be eaten by white blood cells, but instead they can infect the immune system with HIV. The CDC expects to save one life for every five circumcision in Sub Saharan Africa. HIV can be stamped out, but only with everything thrown at it.
Another place for this is in sexual lubricant like in condoms. If HIV is present then both parties are instantly started on anti-HIV drugs and a follow up test is done. A blue condom means HIV present take drugs like Truvada as in Popsci article December 2012 pg72. Not to mention just adding spider silk or nanotubes to condom tech to decimate the thickness. Comfort, test timing and cheap price will increase condom use. I think applying this to condom tech will stop HIV’s spread in risk groups by eliminating the unknown. Turning condoms into STD and other types of health test is a good Idea. Could this also be applied to Japanese bathroom tech as well?