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The DVD team is developing a cost-effective technique for measuring HIV load in resource-restricted regions. Our client is Dr. Phil Thuma and the Macha Research Trust in Zambia. Our design is based on advanced fluorescence spectroscopy that utilizes a fluorescence protein probe, confocal optics, and low-cost, low-power electronics to assess viral load in a patient blood sample. Our timeline for a functional exploded prototype is Fall 2021.
Specifically, we are employing a method of spectroscopy that seeks to identify individual viruses in dilute samples by characteristic “bursts” in fluorescent and elastically scattered light. We have assembled a housing for a custom-designed detector, associated electronics, and signal processing hardware. One project goal is to integrate this modular design into a single printed circuit board. Communication between signal processing hardware and a software-based user interface implemented on a Raspberry Pi and touchscreen is achieved by the use of a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) protocol. The entire system is battery-powered. This system will allow for fast, effective viral load determinations in remote settings.
Messiah University, Messiah College, Engineer, community, service
Paulus, Jessica E.; Mokris, Al W.; Shirk, Brittany; Cordell, Nathan E.; Donoff, Castine L.; Gao, Jeffrey; Gulinello, Sam J.; and Farrar, Matthew J., "A Low-Cost, Portable Fluorescence Correlation Spectrometer for Disease Diagnosis" (2021). 2021 Collaboratory/Engineering Symposium. 17.