SolarDx: Enabling early infant diagnosis of HIV

A'as, Inc.
Organization Location: 
Halethorpe, Maryland

Rationale: Early infant diagnosis of HIV in limited resource settings often comes too late to enable effective intervention, as peak mortality occurs at 8 to 12 weeks of age. Reliable diagnostics must therefore become significantly more accessible to enable HIV detection as early as possible. Approach: SolarDx is a new disruptive microfluidic PCR technology which offers bedside and in-field diagnostics that is more accurate than antibody tests and more portable than PCR instruments. Objective, end point, and impact: Ultimately our goal is to significantly reduce infant mortality attributed to HIV. As the company scales up and more SolarDx instruments are distributed, we will analyze our impact based on how many newborns are tested, receive treatment, and survive as a result of earlier intervention. Also in this project we will track the increased number of pregnant women who seek clinical care as a result of increased access to our diagnostics and healthcare information. Innovation: SolarDx’s patented continuous-flow optofluidics technology harnesses light to deliver low cost, low power, and rapid PCR. Using a direct RT-PCR assay, our microfluidic chip streamlines sample purification, amplification, and detection into a fast 1-step process. Smartphone technology is used to operate the test, further reducing the cost and complexity of the instrument itself. SolarDx is the first of its kind to offer portable PCR diagnostics at an affordable price.

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