The 'credit card' that can tell you if you have HIV within minutes and costs just $1
- The mChip takes less than 15minutes to test with near 100% accuracy
Last updated at 12:59 PM on 5th August 2011
A portable blood test that can diagnose an infection within minutes has been hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the developing world.
The size of a credit card, the mChip has proved almost 100 per cent accurate in testing for HIV in Rwanda.
Hundreds of tests using a prototype were carried out in the town of Kigali and returned a 95 per cent accuracy for HIV and 76 per cent for syphilis.
How it works: The mChip (right) has proved almost 100 per cent accurate in testing for HIV in Rwanda. It comes with a cheap detector (left) if clarification is needed
The plastic device, manufactured in the U.S. and developed by scientists at the University of Columbia in New York, costs just $1 (60p) to make.
Lead researcher Professor Samuel Sia said: 'The idea is to make a large class of diagnostic tests accessible to patients in any setting in the world, rather than forcing them to go to a clinic to draw blood and then wait days for their results.'
The mChip uses optics to read fluids by taking a single pin-prick of blood.
Lead researcher Samuel Sia and his team set out to make a cheap, portable device
It contains ten detection zones which the blood passes through and then returns a positive or negative result for HIV/AIDS or syphilis in about 15 minutes.
The result is presented in a simple colour-coded manner similar to a pregnancy test, making it extremely easy to use and understand.
An alternative is to use a cheap detector box - the 'lab' - to check the results.
The mChip's low cost and efficiency has been hailed as a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV in the developing world.
Drugs to place HIV in remission have long been available but have been deemed too expensive to use on a widescale basis.
The mChip, on the other hand, is extremely cheap, can fit in an aid worker's pocket and produces a result with a high degree of accuracy within 15 minutes.
Researchers are now hoping to increase testing for sexually-transmitted diseases in pregnant women in Africa
Saturday, 6 August 2011
mChip: The 'credit card' that can tell you if you have HIV within minutes and costs just $1 | Mail Online