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Assays & screens

A point-of-care device for obtaining T cell counts from whole blood of HIV-infected individuals

A battery-powered, handheld device for on-chip sample preparation and counting of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from human whole blood samples could provide point-of-care diagnostics for patients with HIV. Doctors routinely measure CD4+ and CD8+ T cell levels in patients with HIV to monitor the disease. Microfabrication methods were used to generate a multilayered fluidic network capable of lysing and quenching red blood cells, collecting and fluorescently tagging lymphocytes and counting CD4+ or CD8+ T cells from healthy individuals or patients with HIV. The counting error was estimated using blood from healthy individuals and was 2.9% for CD4+ cells, 1.6% for CD8+ cells and 1.9% for the ratio. Next steps including testing more samples from patients with HIV that have low CD4+ cell counts to determine the sensitivity and robustness of the device.

SciBX 7(2); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.65
Published online Jan. 16, 2014

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Watkins, N.N. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Dec. 4, 2013;
Contact: Rashid Bashir, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.