Malaria remains the most important mosquito-borne infectious disease worldwide, with 229 million new cases and 409.000 deaths in 2019. The infection is caused by a protozoan parasite which attacks red blood cells by feeding on hemoglobin and transforming it into hemozoin. Despite the WHO recommendation of prompt malaria diagnosis, the quality of microscopy-based diagnosis is frequently inadequate while rapid diagnostic tests based on antigens are not quantitative and still affected by non-negligible false negative/positive results. PCR-based methods are highly performant but still not widely used in endemic areas. Here, a diagnostic tool (TMek), based on the paramagnetic properties of hemozoin nanocrystals in infected red blood cells (i-RBCs), is reported on. Exploiting the competition between gravity and magnetic forces, i-RBCs in a whole blood specimen are sorted and electrically detected in a microchip. The amplitude and time evolution of the electrical signal allow for the quantification of i-RBCs (in the range 10–105 i-RBC µL−1) and the distinction of the infection stage. A preliminary validation study on 75 patients with clinical suspect of malaria shows on-field operability, without false negative and a few false positive results. These findings indicate the potential of TMek as a quantitative, stage-selective, rapid test for malaria.

A Lab-On-chip Tool for Rapid, Quantitative, and Stage-selective Diagnosis of Malaria

Giacometti M.;Milesi F.;Fagiani F.;Rinaldi C.;Cantoni M.;Petti D.;Albisetti E.;Sampietro M.;Fiore G. B.;Ferrari G.;Bertacco R.
2021

Abstract

Malaria remains the most important mosquito-borne infectious disease worldwide, with 229 million new cases and 409.000 deaths in 2019. The infection is caused by a protozoan parasite which attacks red blood cells by feeding on hemoglobin and transforming it into hemozoin. Despite the WHO recommendation of prompt malaria diagnosis, the quality of microscopy-based diagnosis is frequently inadequate while rapid diagnostic tests based on antigens are not quantitative and still affected by non-negligible false negative/positive results. PCR-based methods are highly performant but still not widely used in endemic areas. Here, a diagnostic tool (TMek), based on the paramagnetic properties of hemozoin nanocrystals in infected red blood cells (i-RBCs), is reported on. Exploiting the competition between gravity and magnetic forces, i-RBCs in a whole blood specimen are sorted and electrically detected in a microchip. The amplitude and time evolution of the electrical signal allow for the quantification of i-RBCs (in the range 10–105 i-RBC µL−1) and the distinction of the infection stage. A preliminary validation study on 75 patients with clinical suspect of malaria shows on-field operability, without false negative and a few false positive results. These findings indicate the potential of TMek as a quantitative, stage-selective, rapid test for malaria.
diagnostic tests
hemozoin nanocrystals
impedimetric detection
lab-on-chip
magnetic sorting
malaria
red blood cells
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1175682
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