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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 Jul 1;45(3):257-61.

A microchip approach for practical label-free CD4+ T-cell counting of HIV-infected subjects in resource-poor settings.

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Surgical Services and Center for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Simple affordable CD4 cell counting is urgently needed to stage and monitor HIV-infected patients in resource-limited settings. To address the limitations of current approaches, we designed a simple, label-free, and cost-effective CD4 cell counting device using microfluidic technology. We previously described the fabrication of a microfluidic system for high-efficiency isolation of pure populations of CD4+ T cells based on cell affinity chromatography operated under controlled flow. Here, we compare the performance of a microfluidic CD4 cell counting device against standard flow cytometry in 49 HIV-positive subjects over a wide range of absolute CD4 cell counts. We observed a close correlation between CD4 cell counts from the microchip device and measurements by flow cytometry, using unprocessed whole blood from HIV-positive adult subjects. Sensitivities for distinguishing clinically relevant thresholds of 200, 350, and 500 cells/microL are 0.86, 0.90, and 0.97, respectively. Specificity is 0.94 or higher at all thresholds. This device can serve as a functional cartridge for fast, accurate, affordable, and simple CD4 cell counting in resource-limited settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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