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Design of a novel HIV viral load assay for use in resource settings

This project has been secured to protect intellectual property.

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Design Award

  • Design Excellence Award Winner

Project Overview

Viral Load (VL) measurement is crucial to treatment of HIV infections, and in resource-limited settings these tests can be cost-prohibitive. One significant expense in these assays is the cost of PCR, an expense which is largely comprised of reagent cost, man-hours, and thermocycling.
We hope to address these costs by building upon existing technology to design a more cost-effective PCR reaction system. Much research has already been done in this area, and cost has already been effectively reduced by decreasing reaction volume, eliminating the need for thermocycling, and performing digital PCR. Many of these techniques and similar approaches have been integrated into designs targeted at low-resource settings; however they remain somewhat expensive, materially wasteful, and sometimes inaccurate or not sufficiently quantitative.
We aim to combine many approaches previously taken and integrate these approaches into a PCR reaction chip that reduces material waste through versatility and reusability, costs less due to lower reaction volumes, and is as accurate as other gold-standard tests.

Team Picture

Team members from left to right: Theo Loo, Bailey Flanigan, Nico Angenent-Mari, Veronica Porubsky, Joey Vecchi
Team members from left to right: Theo Loo, Bailey Flanigan, Nico Angenent-Mari, Veronica Porubsky, Joey Vecchi

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Bailey Flanigan, BME 402 - Team Leader & BWIG
  • Joseph Vecchi, BME 402 - Communicator
  • Nicolaas Angenent-Mari, BME 402 - BSAC
  • Theo Loo, BME 402 - BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Dr. Tracy Jane Puccinelli - Advisor
  • Prof. Dave Beebe - Client

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