Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Medical News
Cheap and Quick HIV Testing Made Possible With DVD Scanners

April 12, 2013

Researchers at Stockholm, Sweden's School of Biotechnology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology report they have converted a DVD player into a laser scanning microscope that can complete an HIV test in a few minutes. According to senior lecturer Aman Russom, the "Lab-on-DVD" player can "analyze blood and perform cellular imaging with one-micrometer resolution."

Conversion of the dated DVD technology may provide a fast, cost-effective technology for healthcare in the developing world. Standard HIV testing uses flow cytometry to analyze CD4 counts from blood samples, but each flow cytometry unit costs approximately $30,000, plus maintenance costs. In contrast, a mass-produced Lab-on-DVD player would cost less than $200. The Lab-on-DVD players also would be more portable and require less training to operate than a flow cytometry unit.

The quick HIV test results provided by the Lab-on-DVD players would make it possible for patients to receive their HIV test results at the first visit rather than returning for a follow-up visit to get test results.

The full report, "Bioimaging: Lab on a DVD," was published online in the journal Nature Phototonics (2013; doi:10.1038/nphoton.2013.64).

Back to other news for April 2013

Excerpted from:

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.