Handheld Nanokits for detection of HIV Virus

nano-cantileversHIV or AIDS virus has spread at a pandemic rate among human beings, worldwide. Researchers developing mechanical-sensors consisting of tiny nano-cantilever arrays to study interaction of antibiotics with superbugs received £2 MM funding to innovate a handheld HIV virus detecting device.


How will this device function?
 Nano-cantilever arrays in the sensors will be coated with substances that would attach itself to HIV and other protein markers and measure HIV levels. Interaction of the cantilever with the markers will bend them like diving boards. The level of bend will be measured by the device, which would indicate the level (or amount) of virus in the body. This is indeed an interesting approach to quantify the level of HIV virus.


What are the proposed key features of this device?
  • Small hand held unit
  • Monitor HIV virus levels
  • Display alerts if they need to see doctor based on virus levels

Robin Weiss, Professor of Viral Oncology at UCL, states that: “One of the principal advantages of the proposed device is its capacity to monitor viral and immunological markers on a single chip without the need for time consuming analysis that requires specialist laboratories”.


/> What are the key benefits to the Patient?
  • Monitoring HIV virus level at home; thereby reducing visits to hospital
  • Keeping a watch on effectiveness of the therapy being pursued for HIV
  • This device will also keep an eye on the patients whether they are regular in taking their medication

Dr. McKendry, lead investigator of this project has collaborated with universities and biotech companies to nurture this idea into reality in coming three years and develop a prototype for clinical trials.

Wireless technology is running in parallel to nanotechnology, finding applications to help patients. I am sure, scientists are thinking ahead to gather data with I am sure, scientists are thinking ahead to gather data with nano-cantilever hand held device and send it by wireless technology to hospitals and physicians; like currently used in case of Cardiac Rhythm Management.


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