Exeter develops magneto-optical sensor for detecting malaria

July 14, 2011 by
Filed under: News 

Researchers at Exeter University have developed a handheld  instrument that can rapidly diagnose malaria. It uses magneto-optics to detect the hemozoin crystals produced as a byproduct of malaria parasite digestion of hemoglobin in the red blood cell and so avoids having to take blood to sample.

Phase I of the project developed the hand-held diagnostic device that can detect malarial infection at well below 100 parasitized red blood cells per microliter in less than two minutes in the lab. In Phase II, simpler yet improved second generation devices will undergo further development and clinical testing under field conditions until they can meet the sensitivity and specificity standards required of a test for malaria.

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