TMek: UN MICROCHIP PER DIAGNOSTICARE LA MALARIA IN MODO QUANTITATIVO E RAPIDO

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Riccardo Bertacco *
Francesca Milesi
Pietro Lorenzo Coppadoro
Marco Giacometti
Gianfranco Beniamino Fiore
Giorgio Ferrari
(*) Autore principale:
Riccardo Bertacco | riccardo.bertacco@polimi.it

Abstract

Despite the huge efforts for malaria eradication, this infectious disease still represents a critical issue worldwide, with 3.5 billion people still at risk, 229 million new cases and 409.000 deaths in 2019. The infection is caused by the Plasmodiun parasite which attacks red blood cells, feeds on hemoglobin and transform it into hemozoin nanocrystals. In this paper we report on a novel pan-malaria test (TMek), based on the paramagnetic properties of hemozoin nanocrystals, which allows for the automatic quantification of infected red blood cells (i-RBCs) on a microchip. Exploiting the competition between gravity and magnetic forces, i-RBCs in a whole blood specimen are captured on micromagnetic concentrators and electrically detected, allowing for the measurement of their concentration with a limit of sensitivity down to 10 parasites/μl.


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