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mChip is a portable blood test device which is capable of diagnosing an infection of HIV or Syphilis[1][2] within 15 minutes[3] and could be used effectively against HIV/AIDS in developing countries.[1][3][4] The mChip costs about US$ 1[3] and the entire diagnostic kit costs about US$ 100.[3][5] mChip was developed so that people in regions with poor health facilities can access portable diagnosis for HIV/AIDS rather than travelling long distances to go to clinics for diagnosis.[4]


Lateral flow test is one of the blood testing methods used, in which a blood sample or oral fluid is placed on a strip of paper. In this method, a colored band indicates infection.

People in lesser developed regions like the Sub-Saharan Africa are adversely affected by HIV/AIDS and have very limited access to clinical labs or hospitals. There have been estimates which indicate that there are about 22.5 million people suffering from HIV/AIDS in such regions and hence there is a high demand for portable blood test devices.[6] Hence devices like mChip will be able to diagnose HIV/AIDS in such regions


mChip was developed by scientists at Columbia University[7] in New York City. Initial testing of this device was undertaken in a village in Rwanda,[2][8] where, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 3 percent of the population suffers from HIV/AIDS.[1] Of the 400 volunteers who turned up for testing, 399 were correctly diagnosed with an accuracy of nearly 100 percent.[7][9][10][11] mChip was also tested for its effectiveness in diagnosing syphilis, where, out of the 67 volunteers who turned up for testing, 63 were correctly diagnosed with an accuracy of nearly 94 percent.[1][3] The appearance of mChip resembles a credit card.[1][5] and is estimated to cost just US$ 1.[3]


The operation of mChip is similar to that of ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay).[2] The ELISA can be performed to evaluate either the presence of antigen or the presence of antibody in a sample. It is a useful tool for determining serum antibody concentrations such as with the HIV test.[12] The mChip contains 10 zones[5] which detect the passage of a small amount (about 1μl) of blood.[2] The results can be obtained in a color-coded format[4] in about 15 minutes.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Christian, Torres (July 31, 2011). "Rapid, cheap HIV test finds success as first of its kind tested in the field". The Washington Post. Retrieved Aug 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Chin, Curtis D; Laksanasopin, Tassaneewan; Cheung, Yuk Kee; Cheung, Yuk Kee; Steinmiller, David; Linder, Vincent; Parsa, Hesam; Wang, Jennifer; Moore, Hannah; Rouse, Robert; Umviligihozo, Gisele; Karita, Etienne; Mwambarangwe, Lambert; Braunstein, Sarah L; van de Wijgert, Janneke; Sahabo, Ruben; Justman, Jessica E; El-Sadr, Wafaa; Sia, Samuel K (31 July 2011). "Microfluidics-based diagnostics of infectious diseases in the developing world". Nature Medicine. 17 (1): 1015–1019. doi:10.1038/nm.2408. ISSN 1078-8956. PMID 21804541. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "New Portable Device Diagnoses HIV, Syphilis". Voice of America. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  4. ^ a b c "$1 tiny chip tests blood, detects HIV in 15 min". The Times of India. 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d "$ 1 Chip detects HIV in blood drop" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  6. ^ "How This 15-Minute Test Could Save Millions of Lives". Wall street Daily. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  7. ^ a b "US-developed HIV rapid test device only 15 minutes" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  8. ^ "Rapid and inexpensive diagnostics for the Third World" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  9. ^ "MChip arrives, mini-lab for blood tests DIY" (in Italian). Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  10. ^ "Field trials of rapid, inexpensive and portable HIV test show success, researchers report". European AIDS Treatment Group. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  11. ^ "Field Trials Of Rapid, Inexpensive And Portable HIV Test Show Success, Researchers Report". US Global health policy. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  12. ^ "ELISA/Western blot tests for HIV". Medline Plus. Retrieved 2011-08-16.