Malaria Diagnosis in Hand
Point-of-care tests with smartphone analyzers could transform detection of the killer disease in resource-limited settings
Lauren Robertson | | Quick Read
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.
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