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Malaria mosquito.jpg
Health Topic Malaria
Classification Diagnosis
Scope Prototype
Location Africa, Asia, South America

Problem being addressed[edit]

Malaria is a global health threat that puts over 2 billion people worldwide in danger. To accurately identify these cases, quick and cheap diagnostic technology is required. However, most antibody-based rapid diagnostic technologies (RDTs) can degrade in the field and none can identify every strain of the malaria parasite.

Detailed description of the solution[edit]

MOT-TEST is an innovative and unique proposed product that is designed based on magneto-optical properties of infected red blood cells to malaria. Infected red blood cells with malaria in comparison to normal cells have different magneto-optical properties. The malarial parasite is known to produce haemozoin, a compound that changes the magnetic properties of the blood and can be measured in a sample.

Based on this difference, this proposed product, which is the result of collaboration of over 6 European research institutions, can simply identify the inflicted blood and quickly diagnose malaria for a few cents.

The alpha prototype was designed to be quick-to-respond, portable, extremely inexpensive, highly accurate and used with little training. The second prototype will be designed to be fully non-invasive. This product is in the design/prototype stage with a grant of over 1.4 million euro.

Designed by[edit]

  • Design: Several European research institutions were involved, however the project is coordinated through the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.
  • Manufacturing: Europe

When and where it was tested/implemented[edit]

This device is in its prototype stage, but the first field testing was claimed to be performed in Kenya. It has the potential to be used widely in developing world. The project started in 2006.

Funding Source[edit]

European Union


Peer-reviewed publication[edit]

Newman, Dave M., John Heptinstall, Raphael J. Matelon, Luke Savage, M. Lesley Wears, Jamie Beddow, Martin Cox, Henk DFH Schallig, and Petra F. Mens. "A Magneto-optic Route towards the In-vivo Diagnosis of Malaria: Preliminary Results and Pre-clinical Trial Data." Biophysical Journal (2008).

Mens, Petra F., Raphael J. Matelon, Bakri YM Nour, Dave M. Newman, and Henk DFH Schallig. "Laboratory Evaluation on the Sensitivity and Specificity of a Novel and Rapid Detection Method for Malaria Diagnosis Based on Magneto-optical Technology (MOT)." Malaria Journal 9.207 (2010).

Other internally generated reports[edit]

"Novel Magneto-Optical Biosensors for Malaria Diagnosis." MOT-TEST. 2006. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. Link available here.

Externally generated reports[edit]

Royal Tropical Institute. 2011. Novel Magneto-optical Biosensors Malaria Diagnostics (MOT-Test). Link available here.

Keith Natasha, and Terry Yen. 2009. Magneto-Optic Technology: Hits the Field. Rep. Science, Technology and Engineering Policy Group White Paper Competition, 2009. Print.

Michael Pollitt. 2008. Magnetic device could be used to diagnose malaria. Link available here.