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Brad Petersen
Director of
Communications
2052 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

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Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
2016 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Recent News

New ECE class gives students an in-depth look at the engineering process

New ECE class gives students an in-depth look at the engineering process

Starting this semester, ECE ILLINOIS will offer students an opportunity to study the engineering design process and possibly get a head start on their Senior Design projects with a new class called ECE 398, Special Topics in ECE.

New biochip diagnoses HIV/AIDS on the spot

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By Susan McKenna, Department of Bioengineering
December 9, 2013

  • A new sensor technology developed by researchers at Illinois can diagnose HIV/AIDS using just a drop of blood.
  • The portable device provides information on the number of white blood cells and CD4+ T cells (immune cells that get destroyed when a patient is infected with the HIV virus) are in a drop of blood.
  • Results of the research have been published in the cover article of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
loped by the research group of Rashid Bashir, professor and head of the Department of Bioengineering at Illinois, the device uses a microfluidic biochip, a miniaturized chip designed to process fluids and sense the cells electronically. It works similar to a common blood sugar test, where a patient can put a drop of blood on a strip and insert the strip into a handheld reader to get a blood glucose result. In this case, the strip is a biochip inside of a cartridge, where white blood cells are captured in a microfluidic chamber coated with proteins. - See more at: http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/6001#sthash.sc4XkrwM.dpuf
Developed by the research group of Rashid Bashir, professor and head of the Department of Bioengineering at Illinois, the device uses a microfluidic biochip, a miniaturized chip designed to process fluids and sense the cells electronically. It works similar to a common blood sugar test, where a patient can put a drop of blood on a strip and insert the strip into a handheld reader to get a blood glucose result. In this case, the strip is a biochip inside of a cartridge, where white blood cells are captured in a microfluidic chamber coated with proteins. - See more at: http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/6001#sthash.sc4XkrwM.dpuf

A new sensor technology developed by researchers at the University of Illinois and collaborators at Daktari Diagnostics can diagnose HIV/AIDS using just a drop of blood. The device could provide less costly, easy-to-use, immediate disease diagnostics, especially useful in remote areas of the world and locations with limited resources.

Rashid  Bashir
Rashid Bashir
Developed by the research group of Rashid Bashir, professor of bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering and head of the Department of Bioengineering at Illinois, the device uses a microfluidic biochip, a miniaturized chip designed to process fluids and sense the cells electronically. It works similar to a common blood sugar test, where a patient can put a drop of blood on a strip and insert the strip into a handheld reader to get a blood glucose result. In this case, the strip is a biochip inside of a cartridge, where white blood cells are captured in a microfluidic chamber coated with proteins.

The portable device provides information on the number of white blood cells and CD4+ T cells (immune cells that get destroyed when a patient is infected with the HIV virus) are in a drop of blood. Clinical diagnoses of AIDS are based on when CD4 cells get below 200-350 cells per microliter of whole blood.

The small, disposable biochip can count CD4+/CD8+ T cells quickly and accurately for HIV diagnosis.
The small, disposable biochip can count CD4+/CD8+ T cells quickly and accurately for HIV diagnosis.
Results of the research have been published in the cover article of the journal Science Translational Medicine. According to the paper's first co-authors, ECE alumnus Nicholas Watkins and current ECE student Umer Hassan, the approach can detect sub-populations of white blood cells, such as CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and it can count white blood cells just as accurately as more complex time-consuming approaches using cell counting technologies that require larger volumes of blood. And, by using the CD4/CD8 ratio, doctors may obtain a more complete “picture” of HIV infection.

The group is working on miniaturizing the setup to make the technology handheld, as well as designing a cartridge that can be mass-produced. The biochip also could be used in many other situations where white blood cell counts are needed.

In addition to Watkins (now at Nabsys, Providence, RI) and Hassan, co-authors of the study include doctoral students Gregory Damhorst and HengKan Ni at Illinois, in addition to Awais Vaid (Champaign County Public Health District), William Rodriguez (Daktari Diagnostics, Inc.), and Bashir.

Rodriguez and Bashir are two of the co-founders of Daktari Diagnostics, a Boston-based company that is commercializing portable technologies for global health.

The article, "Microfluidic CD4+ and CD8+ T Lymphocyte Counters for Point-of-Care HIV Diagnostics Using Whole Blood" is available online.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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