Rapid detection of human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 by use of an improved piezoelectric biosensor. Academic Article uri icon


  • Disasters can create situations in which blood donations can save lives. However, in emergency situations and when resources are depleted, on-site blood donations require the rapid and accurate detection of blood-borne pathogens, including human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2). Techniques such as PCR and antibody capture by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for HIV-1 and HIV-2 are precise but time-consuming and require sophisticated equipment that is not compatible with emergency point-of-care requirements. We describe here a prototype biosensor based on piezoelectric materials functionalized with specific antibodies against HIV-1 and HIV-2. We show the rapid and accurate detection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 in both simple and complex solutions, including human serum, and in the presence of a cross-confounding virus. We report detection limits of 12 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID50s) for HIV-1 and 87 TCID50s for HIV-2. The accuracy, precision of measurements, and operation of the prototype biosensor compared favorably to those for nucleic acid amplification. We conclude that the biosensor has significant promise as a successful point-of-care diagnostic device for use in emergency field applications requiring rapid and reliable testing for blood-borne pathogens.

publication date

  • June 2013