Fast sorting of CD4+ T cells from whole blood using glass microbubbles
January 13, 2015 - Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease represents a global health problem concern in the world
especially in many areas of Africa. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), there were 24.7 million
people living with HIV in sub-Saharan African in 2013 but only 37% of the patients were treated. Despite the support of global
efforts to fight HIV, the outcome has not been successful because the cost of HIV medications is still an obstacle to getting
most patients on therapy in the developing countries where the majority of the whole populations have very low incomes
compared to the western countries.
Glass Microbubbles Labeled with PE-Conjugated Biotin and Schematic of Bouyancy (image)
(A) Image of glass microbubbles labeled with PE-conjugated biotin. (B) Schematic of buoyancy activated cell sorting (BACS). Surface-functionalized glass
microbubbles bind to target cells after a brief rotary mixing (1-3). Cells attached by glass microbubbles float and are separated
spontaneously by buoyancy (4).
For human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients the number of CD4+ T lymphocytes in peripheral blood is an important maker for
monitoring disease progression of AIDS and treatment efficacy. But the standard methods for enumerating CD4+ T cells by using
fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) or magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) are expensive and not easily
accessible in remote areas. Our report shows an alternative method for isolating CD4+ T cells which can be used
for CD4+ T cell enumeration.
One critical advantage of glass microbubbles is their reduced cost. These glass microbubbles have been mass-produced for use in many
industrial applications including insulation, construction, paints, and transportation. The surface of the glass microbubbles can
also be modified for attaching a variety of biochemicals to, using readily available protocols developed for glass substrate.
In addition the buoyancy of the glass microbubbles allows for the capturing and separation of target cells from the
unwanted cells by a simple "flip tube" motion. Together these features make our technology very attractive to
the development of low-cost point-of-care devices for HIV monitoring.
There are currently huge inequities in HIV disease burden between developed and developing countries due to the fact that in
many developing countries the health care is facing tremendous challenges from not having sufficient financial resources to
support the health care of HIV patients. The production of new health technologies may help to bridge this gap by lowing
the cost of medical care to provide better treatment to the patients.
Corresponding author for this study in TECHNOLOGY is Dr. Chia-Hsien Hsu, firstname.lastname@example.org . The study can be found at: http://www. worldscientific. com/ doi/ abs/ 10. 1142/ S2339547815500016 .
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