High-Throughput Electrical Detection of Malaria Infection in Single RBCs under Low Parasite Density
Gautam V. Soni from Raman Research Institute in India will develop a Resistive Pulse Technique (RPT) for malaria detection based on the established fact that the Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (RBCs) are about 3 to 10 times stiffer than the normal RBCs, depending on the stage of parasite growth. Therefore, flow velocities of stiffer (infected) and softer (normal) RBCs can be easily distinguished in a simple fluidic channel using RPT. In this project, the difference in these flow velocities would be electrically measured across a spatial constriction to accurately determine the infected stage of individual RBCs. Various aspects of the device would be optimized for high throughput detection, ultimately yielding a portable electrical device capable of high sensitivity detection of one infected RBC per microliter of blood. They will also identify a clinical partner to work with infected blood samples from patients.