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MicroRapid lateral flow blood test device and prototypes

The models and final product are made from foam and plastic.

MicroRapid is, at this stage, being used primarily for the detection of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), but it can also be used for the detection of Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Hepatitis. The device works when a contact activated lancet ensures the finger tip is punctuated when required, and this allows a blood sample to be collected in the small tube which, when full, can be swivelled to deposit the blood onto a test strip. A buffering solution is added to the strip and the strip analyses the sample. A sample containing analytes of the disease intially binds with detector particles.

The device has two lines that appear when testing is complete. One line, next to the letter C on the face of the device (C = control line), and no line next to the letter T (test line) means a negative result result. One line next to C and one line next to T means a positive result. No line next to C means the test is invalid.

C tells the user the test is working properly. T tells the user the result. There must always be a line on C for the result to be valid, whether positive or negative.

In the case of HIV, MicroRapid detects the presence of HIV antibodies, therefore being on anti-retrovirals would not affect the ability of the device to test positive for HIV.

The CD was produced and edited by Felix Warmuth (Powerhouse Museum) for the 2012 Engineering Excellence exhibition.
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