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Disease Area Biomedical engineering, Diagnostics & prognostics, Infectious diseases

Super Sensors

A Spanish team have developed an HIV test that can detect the viral capsid protein p24 at ultra-low concentrations in human plasma (1). Current HIV diagnostics are based on nucleic testing (NAT) or immunoassays. However, the sensitivity of the tests means that they can usually only detect the virus after it has been replicating for 2-4 weeks.

The new biosensor has a limit of detection of 10−5 pg/mL – equivalent to detecting one virion in 10 mL of plasma. That’s five orders of magnitude better than the best immunoassay, and two orders of magnitude better than NAT, allowing detection within a week of infection. What’s more, the results are ready in under five hours – a record for HIV testing.

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About the Author

Charlotte Barker

“As Editor of The Translational Scientist, I’m working closely with our audience to create vibrant, engaging content that reflects the hard work and passion that goes into bringing new medicines to market. I got my start in biomedical publishing as a commissioning editor for healthcare journals and have spent my career covering everything from early-stage research to clinical medicine, so I know my way around. And I can’t think of a more interesting, challenging or important area to be working in.”

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