HIV self-testing is an emerging innovative approach that allows individuals who want to know their HIV status to collect their own specimen, perform a test, and interpret the results privately. Existing HIV self-testing methods rely on rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to detect the presence of HIV-1/2 antibodies, which could miss a significant portion of asymptomatic carriers during the window period. In this work, we present a fully integrated nucleic acid testing (NAT) device towards streamlined HIV self-testing using 100 μL finger-prick whole blood. The device consists of a ready-to-use microfluidic reagent cartridge and an ultra-compact NAT-on-USB analyzer. The test requires simple steps from the user to drop the finger-prick blood sample into a collection tube with lysis buffer and load the lysate onto the microfluidic cartridge, and the testing result can be easily read out by a custom-built graphical user interface (GUI). The microfluidic cartridge and the analyzer automatically handle the complexity of sample preparation, purification, and real-time reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP). With a turnaround time of ∼60 min, we achieved a limit of detection (LoD) of 214 viral RNA copies/mL of whole blood at a 95% confidence level. Due to its ease of use and high sensitivity, we anticipate the HIV NAT-on-USB device would be particularly useful for the high-risk populations seeking private self-testing at the early stages of exposure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering