Project Lead(s): Jose Lopez Revilla
In 2012, more than 10 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy in low-income countries.
In these countries, despite the access to HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy), opportunistic infections – especially central nervous system (CNS) infections – are the most common presenting feature associated with HIV diagnosis.
Many neurological infections are difficult to diagnose and require specific laboratory tests.
The objective of this project was to develop a portable, point-of-care device (lab-on-a-chip) for the diagnosis of most common CNS infections in HIV patients living in low-income settings.
This project was intended to consist of two phases:
Phase 1 was the development of a prototype using microfluidic design, 3D printing and molding with the silicone-based organic polymer PDMS. The sample distribution steps in the device were planned based on the standard steps of the ELISA test: a chamber for sample introduction, the channel system for sample transportation, a reaction chamber and waste storage chamber.
Early secretory antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) (ESAT-6) were selected for the prototype test, for which polyclonal antibodies were developed from extracts of certified pathogen strains (Mycobacterium tuberculosis ATCC 25618 H37Rv) and also clinical strains of MTB.
Phase 2 was intended to involve validation of the novel device with clinical samples of pathogens (tuberculosis, cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis) from definitively diagnosed patients in the largest HIV wards in Lima.
The main achievements of the project were to develop 3D design skills by using free software, applying 3D-printing protocols and standardization of the ELISA test for investigation of MTB antigens in cerebrospinal fluid.
The team failed to complete the lab-on-a-chip device during the grant period and no testing was done on clinical specimens.
The project team is continuing to conduct laboratory testing.