Portable System for Ultra-Sensitive Viral Load Detection
Charlie Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. will develop a diagnostic platform that uses magnetic nanopore filters and a simple nucleic-acid detection system in an integrated miniaturized device to diagnose infectious diseases such as HIV from a variety of human samples. The diagnostic will consist of 15nm pores etched onto thin polycarbonate films that can trap individual viruses, label them with magnetic particles, and concentrate them with a magnetic field. They will develop this approach for isolating HIV particles from blood, and design graphene sensors that bind target nucleic acids with enhanced sensitivity. These two components will then be integrated into a diagnostic device.