Daktari CD4
Body category


HIV/AIDS test that performs critical, low-cost CD4 counts to guide HIV treatment

Detailed Description:
A CD4 cell counting system portable and robust enough to be used anywhere, from a doctor’s office to the most remote settings. As simple in concept and as easy to use as a glucose meter, Daktari technology overcomes the two critical barriers to point-of-care testing: complex sample preparation, and fragile, expensive optical sensors.

Known drawbacks of design:
The Daktari CD4 is currently in development and undergoing performance evaluation.


Designed in:

Status of realization:

emergency, globalization, health, technology


The Daktari device provides on-the-spot CD4 counts with a finger stick in about eight minutes. It works by directing a drop of blood into an assay chamber on a small plastic card, where antibodies grab onto CD4 cells while letting other white blood cells pass by. The process, known as microfluidic cell chromatography, overcomes the need for complex preparation techniques. It isolates cells and other particles in a miniature sensing chamber, without pipetting, labels or reagents of any kind. Daktari CD4 also takes advantage of a second innovation, lysate impedance spectroscopy. The system uses a simple sensor that counts the captured CD4 cells by measuring their internal contents electrically. A portable, handheld instrument interprets the electrical signal, and reports the CD4 count within minutes.

In an ideal world, HIV-positive patients would be tested regularly so that the moment the disease progresses, appropriate life-saving treatment can begin. The Daktari technology mentioned above enables the device to be simple, inexpensive, and handheld, ideal for caregivers traveling to remote areas of the world and working outside traditional medical facilities. Furthermore it overcomes the two critical barriers to current point-of-care testing: complex sample preparation, and fragile, expensive optical sensors.

The World Health Organization has identified simple, portable CD4 diagnostic devices as a critical need in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Daktari's CD4 device will answer this call to action by bringing this essential blood test to parts of the world where millions of people now have access to life-saving drugs, yet cannot begin or monitor treatment due to inadequate diagnostics. In addition to the highly technical requirements of developing a system that can determine the specific stage of HIV, the Daktari CD4 needed to address all of the unique needs of developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa.


Is the design protected by patent or ip registration?

How has the development of the design been financed hereunto?
Not known

Is there a plan for future investments?

Is there in-house competencies to secure market roll out of the design, with regards to investment, distribution, sales, etc.?


Designed by:
The Daktari team



Professional status of designer:
Engineers, scientists, physicians, and global health experts

United States of America

City/Country of residence:
Cambridge, USA

Name of company:
Daktari Diagnostics

Manufactured/Produced/Commisioned by:

Additional credits:
Instituto Dominicano De Estudios Virologicos (IDEV), Santa Domingo