Biosensors and optical assays for diagnosis and detection of malaria

Advances in biosensors and optical assays for diagnosis and detection of malaria

K.V. Ragavan, Sanni Kumar, Shiva Swaraj, Suresh Neethirajan

Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Link)  





Vector-borne diseases are a major concern for human health globally, especially malaria in densely populated, less developed, tropical regions of the world. Malaria causes loss of human life and economic harm, and may spread through travelers to new regions. Though there are sufficient therapeutics available for the effective treatment and cure of malaria, it infects millions of people and claims several thousand lives every year. Early diagnosis of the infection can potentially prevent the spread of disease, save lives, and mitigate the financial impact. Conventional analytical techniques are being widely employed for malaria diagnosis, but with low sensitivity and selectivity. Due to the poor-resource settings where malaria outbreaks often occur, most conventional diagnostic methods are not affordable and hence not effective in detection and controlling the spread of the infection. However, biosensors have improved the scope for affordable malaria diagnosis. Advances in biotechnology and nanotechnology have provided novel recognition materials and transducer elements, discoveries which allow the fabrication of affordable biosensor platforms with improved attributes. The present work covers the advancement in biosensors with an introduction to malaria, followed by conventional methods of malaria diagnosis, malaria markers, novel recognition elements and the biosensor principle. Finally, a proactive role and a perspective on developed biosensor platforms are discussed with potential biomedical applications.

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