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Reagent-Free, Needle-Free Microscopy for Malaria Diagnosis

Rebecca Richards-Kortum of Rice University in the U.S. will measure light scattered by malaria-infected red blood cells using a small microscope that can be placed on the skin as a way to detect infection in patients without the need to draw blood. This rapid and painless diagnostic would not require consumable reagents or a trained operator, and would not generate biohazardous waste. This project's Phase I research demonstrated that two key optical signatures could be used to recognize malaria-infected red blood cells and that these signatures could be visualized in the superficial vasculature of an animal model with a table-top microscope. In Phase II, Richards-Kortum and a team will develop a portable, battery-powered microscope and test its ability to image the superficial vasculature in humans and also quantify infected red blood cells in a small pilot study of malaria patients.

More information about Create Low-Cost Diagnostics for Priority Global Health Conditions (Round 3)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.