Methods for Diagnosing and Monitoring HIV-Infection


Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing a business partner interested in commercializing methods for Detecting the Presence and Progression of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection in the presence of a substance of abuse and/or therapeutic agent(s).

Despite significant advancements made in the development of anti-retroviral (ARV) therapeutics, infections caused by HIV remain a serious threat to human health. At the early stage of infection, HIV penetrates the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) to enter the central nervous system (CNS), causing neuroAIDS as well as the development of latent HIV reservoirs in the CNS. Progression of HIV infection can gradually cause neuro-inflammation, neurodegeneration, and other related diseases such as, for example, HIV-encephalitis (HIVE). Additionally, neurological disorders associated with HIV infection can become more severe with patients who consume substances of abuse such as, for example, cocaine.

Currently, enzyme-linked immunosorbent immunoassay (ELISA), real time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT/Q-PCR), and western blot are the most commonly used analytical tools for monitoring HIV infection by estimating p24 antigen, LTR level, and/or protein expression. Optical assays-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) system has also shown utility in quantifying CD4+ cells for detecting the progression of HIV infections. Unfortunately, these methods are expensive, time consuming (turnaround detection time of 6-8 hours), and require technical expertise in implementation.

FIU inventors have developed an electrochemical method-based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) for the rapid assessment of HIV-infection on using substance of abuse and specific targeted therapeutic drugs. The detection of HIV infection is accomplished by measuring the electrochemical impedance of cells found in the CNS and/or the peripheral nervous system (PNS), and determining changes in the electrophysiology of the cells by comparing the measured electrochemical response of the cells with pre-determined control measurements. Results confirmed that HIV-infection, cocaine exposure, and therapeutic mechanism of drug affected electro-physiology of cells which is detected as a function of charge transfer resistance (Rct).

  • Diagnosis and management of progression of HIV infections in the presence of a substance of abuse and/or therapeutic agent(s)
  • Enables rapid  assessment of HIV infection (e.g., less than 20 minutes)
  • Suitable for point-of-care (POC) disease monitoring and treatment
  • Allows timely treatment adjustment

Call Anne-Laure “Anlo” Schmitt-Olivier at 305-348-5948 or fill out the quick contact form below.