An in vivo diagnostic device to sample large volumes of blood to trap hepatitis C viral particles in circulation
Proper treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) requires close monitoring of the viral load throughout the course of treatment. Many patients reach a point where traditional quantifying methods are insufficient to determine the viral load. The number of viral particles that can be captured with the current methods is limited by the amount of blood that can be sampled (typically between 1 ml – 3 ml) for each HCV test conducted. Because current methods cannot determine whether these patients fully eradicated the virus, they continue to receive the treatment for the full duration when many, in fact, can be cured with an abbreviated treatment length.
This invention pertains to an in vivo device to sample large volumes of blood and trap HCV particles without the need to draw the blood. The device is placed in a vein via a catheter in an orientation that allows the blood to pass over and around the device as it flows. This device is coated with an antibody specific to HCV so that when a viral particle comes in contact with the device, it will bind to the antibody and become trapped. The device is then removed, and the number of viral particles quantified using one of the currently available in vitro diagnostic tools. In 30 minutes, this invention allows at least 40,000 times more blood to be sampled than a traditional blood draw, greatly improving sensitivity and efficiency of the assay.
Great improvement in sensitivity over current HCV diagnostic methods
Allows physicians to safely shorten the duration of the standard hepatitis C treatment for patients who respond to the treatment quickly
Highly improved sensitivity better segments the patient population, greatly improving the cost effectiveness of the treatment