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Acta Trop. 2004 Feb;89(3):357-69.

Microfluidic approaches to malaria detection.

Author information

  • 1M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas, 1515 Holcome Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA. peter@dielectrophoresis.org

Abstract

Microfluidic systems are under development to address a variety of medical problems. Key advantages of micrototal analysis systems based on microfluidic technology are the promise of small size and the integration of sample handling and measurement functions within a single, automated device having low mass-production costs. Here, we review the spectrum of methods currently used to detect malaria, consider their advantages and disadvantages, and discuss their adaptability towards integration into small, automated micro total analysis systems. Molecular amplification methods emerge as leading candidates for chip-based systems because they offer extremely high sensitivity, the ability to recognize malaria species and strain, and they will be adaptable to the detection of new genotypic signatures that will emerge from current genomic-based research of the disease. Current approaches to the development of chip-based molecular amplification are considered with special emphasis on flow-through PCR, and we present for the first time the method of malaria specimen preparation by dielectrophoretic field-flow-fractionation. Although many challenges must be addressed to realize a micrototal analysis system for malaria diagnosis, it is concluded that the potential benefits of the approach are well worth pursuing.

PMID:
14744562
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2726249
Free PMC Article

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