Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Designing HIV Home Test Kit

Date:
March 9, 2000
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
Researchers at Michigan Tech are hoping to make life a little easier for persons infected with the HIV virus. They're designing a home test kit that will enable HIV-infected individuals to monitor their condition themselves and avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor.

HOUGHTON, MI -- Researchers at Michigan Tech are hoping to make life a little easier for persons infected with the HIV virus. They're designing a home test kit that will enable HIV-infected individuals to monitor their condition themselves and avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor.

"The kit we're designing is similar to the glucose meter diabetics use to monitor their glucose levels," says Dr. Sheila Grant of Michigan Tech's Center for Biomedical Engineering. "It's an optical detection system that will allow patients to determine how well their treatment regimen is keeping the virus from multiplying. Another benefit is that it will be able to distinguish between live, active particles or an inactive one. "If the home test kit indicates high levels of HIV particles, patients can then go to their physician and either redesign their drug therapy or try something different."

With more than a million persons in the United States who are HIV-positive, there are a large number of people who need to be on a rigorous anti-retroviral drug therapy to control the number of virus particles in their blood, according to Grant.

Persons who are HIV-positive may be on a particular medication routine or program. "Every so often," she says, "they need to have their blood monitored to see if these drugs are working. They go through this process of analyzing the blood to count the viral particles. It's called a viral load test."

But if infected individuals could test themselves at home and get instant results, it would save time, lab work, and medical costs.

"The typical latent period between actually being infected and showing symptoms is about 10 years," Grant says, " and doctors are debating when you should give anti-retroviral drugs to the HIV-positive patient, how often, and in what combination. The test kit will provide a fast feedback to physicians on how to conduct the drug therapy."

The test procedure being developed at Michigan Tech involves conjugating (joining) dyes to two different synthetic proteins, called cell receptors...little doorways to each individual cell.

"In order for the HIV virus to infect a cell, it has to open up the cell receptor doors," explains Grant. So when receptors altered with dyes combine with the HIV virus, it causes the dyes to elicit a fluorescence which can be monitored.

To date, the biggest challenge to researchers developing the method in the laboratory has been the actual labeling or "tagging" the cell receptors with fluorescent dyes. "At this point, it's more of an art than a science," says Grant. Still, she is happy with the progress made.

"We've identified a couple of protein pairs that work well together, and on which we've been able to see the desired change in the fluorophores used," she said. "So we're starting our next step in which we're looking at conjugating actual HIV cell receptor particles."

Once the test kit is perfected, a person using it will prick a finger to test his or her blood, and the sensor in the kit will determine the amount of HIV particles in the blood, and will transmit that information to the tester.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan Technological University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "Researchers Designing HIV Home Test Kit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000309074935.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (2000, March 9). Researchers Designing HIV Home Test Kit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000309074935.htm
Michigan Technological University. "Researchers Designing HIV Home Test Kit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000309074935.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins