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Small. 2013 Aug 12;9(15):2553-63, 2478. doi: 10.1002/smll.201202195. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Acute on-chip HIV detection through label-free electrical sensing of viral nano-lysate.

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Bio-Acoustic-MEMS in Medicine-BAMM Laboratory, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Development of portable biosensors has broad applications in environmental monitoring, clinical diagnosis, public health, and homeland security. There is an unmet need for pathogen detection at the point-of-care (POC) using a fast, sensitive, inexpensive, and easy-to-use method that does not require complex infrastructure and well-trained technicians. For instance, detection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) at acute infection stage has been challenging, since current antibody-based POC technologies are not effective due to low concentration of antibodies. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time a label-free electrical sensing method that can detect lysed viruses, i.e. viral nano-lysate, through impedance analysis, offering an alternative technology to the antibody-based methods such as dipsticks and Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The presented method is a broadly applicable platform technology that can potentially be adapted to detect multiple pathogens utilizing impedance spectroscopy for other infectious diseases including herpes, influenza, hepatitis, pox, malaria, and tuberculosis. The presented method offers a rapid and portable tool that can be used as a detection technology at the POC in resource-constrained settings, as well as hospital and primary care settings.


impedance spectroscopy; lab-on-chip; pathogen detection; point-of-care diagnosis; virus lysis

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