NYU dental school receives HIV/AIDS research grant

The New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) has received a $335,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an automated test that can simultaneously detect HIV/AIDS antibodies and viral RNA from the AIDS virus in a single specimen.

A $1.5 million grant was awarded to Rheonix, a medical technology company that makes automated and customizable molecular diagnostic devices, and a portion of that grant will go to NYUCD.

The research aims to develop an affordable, point-of-care test capable of detecting pathogen nucleic acids and antibodies to the pathogens in less than an hour, according to Daniel Malamud, PhD, professor of basic science and craniofacial biology and director of the HIV/AIDS Research Program at NYUCD.

The researchers are using the Rheonix CARD cartridge system, which uses a disposable card as a receptacle for blood or saliva samples. Less than 10 minutes after the card is placed on an instrument for processing, one part of the sample runs out onto a strip to detect HIV antibodies, while another part of the sample undergoes isolation of nucleic acid and amplification using an isothermal process.

"I'm reasonably confident that within 18 months we will have a finished product, which will allow an individual to simply collect a sample, insert it into the CARD, push a button, and, within one hour, have an accurate test result," Malamud stated in a press release.

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