Soon you could detect whether you have malaria or not if scientist of the University of Glasgow succeed in their venture.
University of Glasgow has received a grant of $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a device which uses mobile-phone derived technology that can detect and separate red blood cells infected with malaria parasites.
It is hoped that if successful, devices based on the technology could be mass produced for rapid and accurate malaria diagnosis.
The scientists are planning to exploit surface acoustic wave devices which are electronic components commonly found in TVs, mobile phones and other electronic display devices.
The Glasgow team now proposes to use surface acoustic wave devices to exert selective forces on malaria infected red blood cells to separate them from uninfected red cells.
Different cells respond to surface acoustic waves in different ways depending on their physical properties including their elasticity and their shape. Since malaria parasites cause red cells to alter their elasticity and their shape they should respond differently to surface acoustic waves at particular frequencies. The team hopes to produce a handheld device which can identify infected cells quickly and cleanly.