Diagnosing HIV and other infectious diseases presents unique challenges in remote locations that lack electric power, refrigeration, and appropriately trained health care staff. To address these issues, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a low-cost, electricity-free device capable of detecting the DNA of infectious pathogens, including HIV-1. The device uses a small scale chemical reaction, rather than electric power, to provide the heat needed to amplify and detect the DNA or RNA of pathogens present in blood samples obtained from potentially infected individuals.
Cut-away view of the reusable NINA device showing relative location of insulation, heat source, phase change material, and samples.
Credit: Paul LaBarre.
This work was supported by NIH through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering under award number R01EB012641 and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under award number R01AI097038.
Electricity-Free Amplification and Detection for Molecular Point-of-Care Diagnosis of HIV-1.. Singleton J, Osborn JL, Lillis L, Hawkins K, Guelig D, Price W, Johns R, Ebels K, Boyle D, Weigl B,LaBarre P. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 26;9(11):e113693. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113693. eCollection 2014.PMID: 2542695