Sign In
  • ENG

Soon, malaria diagnosis will take flat 30 minutes

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : October 21, 2014 11:28 AM IST

Scientists at IISc Bangalore have developed a revolutionary handheld device for the diagnosis of the deadly malaria pathogen from less than a drop of blood and that too in less than 30 minutes. The research team has already developed a laboratory prototype that analyses individual blood cells from the sample and detects the ones that are infected with malaria. This low cost-diagnostic device is small that can easily fit into one's hand.

Dr Sai Siva Gorthi, assistant professor at the Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics, IISc and head of the research team said, 'It is a great challenge for India to take primary healthcare to every village. This normal malaria diagnosis process that involves taking blood samples, analysing them under microscope and preparation of the reports is very time consuming. But with the help of this simple yet effective method to diagnose malarial parasite, the amount of money and time spend on detection will go down considerably.' (Read: Malaria -- causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment)

He further explained that their pathology lab device combines three significant aspects of clinical intervention namely image processing, microfluidics and microscopy. They are also planning to develop a standalone model but the cost of this device might be in thousands. Apart from using around 200 namolitres of blood (that is very less as compared to the traditional method), the device also allows to analyse every cell along with providing visual representation and quantitative count of the number of cells affected with the malaria pathogen.

Also Read

More News

Dr Gorthi further said, 'This portable hand-held device can be easily modified and extended to detect other diseases as well. In urban scenario, the patient can send the image representation of his sample analysis to his healthcare professional via smartphone. This process not only makes it easy for the doctor to prescribe treatment but also saves time, energy and cost.' (Read: Top 10 facts you should know about malaria)

The device contains a replaceable microfluidic cartridge (that are supposed to be preloaded with blood sample, every time you perform the test). It also has a common optical reader where the morphological features of blood cells are displayed on the LCD display. The algorithms are automatically evaluated as they run on a smartphone-like platform. Although the qualitative results are displayed instantaneously, quantitative outcome is displayed in 30 minutes.

The research won the 'Best Innovator's Pitch' award that was given by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) at the recent event Innovation Centre Stage that was held in New Delhi. (Read: Neem and tulsi, effective remedies to keep malaria out of your home)

Image Source: Getty Images

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on