A Novel Point-of-Care Detection for Early Atherosclerosis

Our Mission

“AtheroSHuffle represents a collaboration between science and society to proactively combat the complications of cardiovascular health.”

A Worldwide Health Crisis

Atherosclerosis is characterized by plaque buildup in the inner arterial walls. This disease affects 27.62% of the global population.1 Atherosclerosis is the dominant cause of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Click and drag the globe to view heart disease statistics by country!


To put this into numbers...

individuals affected by atherosclerosis annually 1

global deaths attributed to CVD annually 7

Economic Burden

In addition to its health impacts, heart disease is extremely costly. In a technical report prepared for the American Heart Association, combined costs of detection tests and hospital visits are expected to reach 750 billion dollars by 2035.

Projected costs of cardiovascular diseases from 2015 to 2035. Data obtained from Research Triangle Institute (RTI) technical report. 8


The Problem

An estimated 80% of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented if they are detected earlier in life.9

heart image

However, there is no device on the market for preventative detection.

Our Solution

We designed AtheroSHuffle, a test strip that detects early signs of heart disease. Our device detects early stages of atherosclerotic plaque buildup, the precursor to irreversible cardiovascular diseases.

The strip detects oxidized LDL (oxLDL), a biomarker associated with early to middle stages of atherosclerosis development. We used synthetic biology to engineer plasmids containing the sequences for oxLDL-specific antibodies. We utilized a stain of E. coli called SHuffle to produce these antibodies.

blocked artery

These antibodies, when adhered to the strip, allow oxLDL levels to be determined by the naked eye. Our device will provide a sorely-needed low-cost, early detection method for atherosclerosis, improving healthcare globally, especially for under-resourced communities.

Project Areas

Project Description

Read a detailed description of our project and inspiration

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Employing the engineering design cycle to overcome setbacks in lab

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Generating protein structures and equations to guide our project

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Human Practices

Meeting with researchers and stakeholders to inform design

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Project Promotion Video

About Us

We are a dedicated group of twelve students from the University of Virginia. Our team represents a wide variety of disciplines, from Math, to Engineering, to Economics. To learn more about us and our roles in this project, visit our team members page!