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Fields & Applications Micro/Nano-scale, Clinical, Translational Science

Malaria Diagnosis in Hand

The need for simplified, low-cost, point-of-care testing (POCT) systems that can diagnose infectious diseases quickly in resource-limited settings is ever-present. Developing reliable POCT diagnostics could lead to earlier detection, improved treatment, and streamlined outbreak prevention. Ideally, such a platform would make use of a user-friendly analyzer to perform data acquisition, analysis, transmission, display and storage – capabilities supported by today’s smartphones.

Chong Ahn and colleagues have developed a novel microchannel capillary flow assay (MCFA) platform that can be linked with a smartphone analyzer for malaria diagnosis in developing countries. The MCFA uses chemiluminescence-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2; a known malarial biomarker) at concentrations as low as 8 ng/mL in serum samples. Optical signals indicating the presence (or absence) of PfHRP2 is then fed to the linked smartphone by a high-sensitivity detector in real-time; the detector is, in turn, powered by the smartphone.

 

Schematic construction of the diagnostic mobile phone system

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About the Author

Lauren Robertson

By the time I finished my degree in Microbiology I had come to one conclusion – I did not want to work in a lab. Instead, I decided to move to the south of Spain to teach English. After two brilliant years, I realized that I missed science, and what I really enjoyed was communicating scientific ideas – whether that be to four-year-olds or mature professionals. On returning to England I landed a role in science writing and found it combined my passions perfectly. Now at Texere, I get to hone these skills every day by writing about the latest research in an exciting, creative way.

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