Client: Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease at UCSF, Director of AIDS Consult Service at San Francisco General Hospital
Team: Ashley Tsai, Daniel Corbett, Aritro Mukherjee, Anna Ngo
The most important factor in survival with HIV/AIDS is receiving adequate levels of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Thus, adherence to ARV therapy is critical to patient outcome. Research has demonstrated that long-term compliance can be monitored by measuring the amount of ARV drug deposited in the matrix of the patient’s hair. ARV extraction from the hair matrix is most commonly performed using methanol as a solvent. Mechanical disruption of the hair matrix is typically employed to maximally expose the hair matrix to the methanol. The common low-budget solution is to manually cut the hair with scissors, which is time and labor intensive. The gold standard method uses a Bead Ruptor to pulverize the hair into a powder, but this device is costly and not feasible in low-income environments. This project seeks to develop a hair processor that efficiently exposes ARV drugs trapped within the hair matrix for solvent extraction at minimal cost.