Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mobile assistance for AIDS patients in South Africa

10.01.2012
The first mobile safety laboratory to operate under Biosafety Level 3 has been in use in South Africa since May 2011. As development of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering in St. Ingbert, this special truck is used for testing and advising patients with AIDS and tuberculosis. The mobile laboratory can save patients' lives in remote areas because it cuts the waiting time between diagnosis and the start of treatment to just one day.

30 years ago, in June 1981, two doctors, Michael Gottlieb and Wayne Sandera of the University of California in Los Angeles, described the very first AIDS cases – and yet they had no idea that this newly described disease was caused by a virus and how this virus would spread and the impact it would have.

According to estimates by UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), at the end of 2010, 34 million people in the world were living with HIV; some 5.6 million of these live in South Africa (2009). This makes South Africa the country with the fastest rate of spreading.

Given this fact, a mobile lab may seem like a drop in the ocean, but in fact it is closing a wide gap in patient care. In Africa, the distances are often very far and arduous and the poverty so severe that people quite simply cannot afford to miss two days' of work to take an HIV test. Up until now, ordinarily a patient would have a blood sample taken at the nearest hospital. From there, the sample would be transported to a central laboratory.

To obtain the results - some 14 days later – the patient would then have to return to the hospital.. "For many people, this is nearly impossible to accomplish organizationally," observes Professor Hagen von Briesen, research director for the Mobile-Lab project. "It also costs people valuable time during which treatment could have begun. An increasing viral load means that the need for action is acute."

The team at IBMT spent five years developing the AIDS truck. Working with a company for special vehicle design, the approval was obtained for this safety laboratory on wheels, which was finally brought to South Africa's West Cape region.

The samples are tested in the rear section of the mobile lab, so the vehicle had to satisfy the requirements for Biosafety Level S3. Anyone wishing to access the testing area must first pass through an isolation sluice. Here, air intake and exhaust passes through filters to protect staff, patients and the environment. The team has also provided a way to grow cell cultures if need be – a process that can take up to three weeks.

The vessels filled with fluid are placed in a device attached to the ceiling of the mobile lab. This keeps the vessels in a horizontal position even when the lab is cornering and climbing, braking or moving off. The lab has even been fitted with an autoclave that can sterilize objects using a self-contained water-circulation system.

Prof. Dr. Hagen Briesen | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2011/november/mobile-assistance-for-aids-patients-in-south-africa.html

Further reports about: Africa Aids Biosafety HIV Mobile assistance mobile safety laboratory

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>