Novel device to conduct flash-heat treatment in efforts to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission in low-resource areas.

Aneesha Suresh*, Cassandra Harn, Erica Pollack, Max Kroon, Mladen Poluta, David Kelso, Matthew Glucksberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this design project was to create a device to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV through breast milk in preterm infants. Our team created a robust and intuitive device which utilizes Flash Heat Treatment (FHT), an established method to inactivate HIV. The FHT method heats jarred breast milk in boiling water for a short amount of time, enough to denature HIV reverse transcriptase while preserving the nutritional value of breast milk. Thorough observation of users and available resources in Cape Town, South Africa enabled establishment of a design that can be used in urban/peri-urban areas. User research conveyed that low cost and effortless household adaptability were the most important elements of the design. As a result, a modified electric kettle was designed to function as a breast milk pasteurization device. Published data illustrating temperature curves during FHT with corresponding virology tests on the pasteurized milk were used to verify whether the device is likely to function effectively. Experimental results indicate that the device matches the required temperature profile. After virology experimentation is complete, the new device may be incorporated into hospitals as well as households in the Cape Town area, and may be expanded to other low resource periurban/urban areas as well.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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