An origami-like, cheap strip of paper exactly detected malaria in 98% of cases in Uganda in a test team of schoolchildren. Although paper sensors are not a new thing—the most well-known examples comprise some home pregnancy tests—the outcomes from this test show that such sensors can be capable for assisting diagnose disease in rural regions.
Malaria is one of the most infectious lethal diseases all over the globe, and after years of progress, the number of instances is increasing again, as per the 2018 World Malaria Report by WHO (World Health Organization). There were 219 Million instances all over the world in 2017, in comparison to 217 Million a year previously.
For a research posted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jonathan Cooper, bioengineer at the University of Glasgow, made a sensor that does not require fancy tools and still beat out other techniques. The first step is to put a drop of blood on a special paper that is layered in specific chemicals and wax. Folding the paper in a particular manner changes the blood so that it is ready for the test. The sample is put aside a small testing strips that can identify the attendance of malaria parasite.
On a related note, the research team from the Colorado State University is utilizing an existing technology with a new approach. The team has illustrated a technique of biosurveillance that rapidly points out whether Zika virus is there in the local mosquito population. This can help to take a decision whether to spray the pesticides and also about other disease-preventing ways.
With the use of the existing technique, i.e., loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), the researchers established that they can simply determine Zika virus in mosquito and human samples from Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. This technology is quite similar to polymerase chain reaction, which offers an extremely sensitive examination of DNA samples. However, LAMP can be utilized in the field rather than a laboratory and also, it is less expensive.