UBC researcher invents ‘lab on a chip’ device to study malaria | Science CodexPosted: February 28, 2012
Measuring 2″ x 1″ (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.”