Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UBC researcher invents ¡°lab on a chip¡± device to study malaria

29.02.2012
University of British Columbia researcher Hongshen Ma has developed a simple and accurate device to study malaria, a disease that currently affects 500 million people per year worldwide and claims a million lives.
Spread by mosquitoes, malaria is caused by a tiny parasite that infects human red blood cells. Ma and his team designed a ¡°lab on a chip¡± device to better understand the changes in red blood cells caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the most common species of malaria parasites.

Ma explains the device will help those conducting laboratory research or clinical trials evaluate the efficacy of different compounds in treating malaria ¨C a disease that is increasingly resistant to drugs.

¡°Our results show that it¡¯s possible to precisely measure the stiffening of red blood cells caused by the parasite at various stages of infection,¡± says Ma, assistant professor in the UBC departments of mechanical engineering and urologic sciences, and senior research scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Center.

Normal human red blood cells must squeeze through capillaries many times smaller than their own diameter in order to deliver oxygen to all tissues in the body. Red blood cells infected with malaria gradually lose this capability, which disrupts blood flow, causing failure of vital organs and eventually death.

Measuring 2¡å x 1¡å (50 cm x 25 cm), Ma¡¯s microfluidic device deforms single red blood cells through a series of funnel-shaped constrictions. The pressure required to push the cell through each constriction is measured and then used to calculate the cell¡¯s deformability.

By measuring the deformability of an infected red blood cell, researchers can obtain vital information about the status of the disease and response to treatment, explains Ma, whose findings appear in the current issue of the journal Lab on a Chip.

Ma notes that although there has been considerable research on the biomechanics of malaria, ¡°current methods to measure red cell deformability are either too complex to be used in clinical settings or are not sensitive enough.¡±

Funding for this research was provided by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation¡¯s Grand Challenges in Global Health program.

Lorraine Chan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

Further reports about: Grand Challenge Plasmodium falciparum UBC blood cell red blood cells

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>