Excellent news for TMek, the revolutionary rapid test for the diagnosis of malaria developed by the Politecnico di Milano in PoliFab laboratory ( we talked about it in MAP # 7 ): a recent study published by the journal “Advanced Science” confirmed its potential after the experimentation in Cameroon on 75 patients with clinical suspicion of malaria.
Early diagnosis is of fundamental importance to ensure greater chances of survival for people suffering from malaria: for this reason the World Health Organization continues to urge the development of new rapid diagnostic tests that can be used in endemic areas.
TMek can diagnose malaria quickly because it uses of a physical lab-on-chip mechanism, which uses magnetic fields and microchips to make it possible to quantify infected red blood cells. Through low-cost “disposable” microchips equipped with micro-magnets, the system attracts infected red blood cells and counts them in order to quantify parasitemia, i.e. the percentage of infected blood cells compared to healthy ones. In this way, it is possible to provide a quick and economical solution for the diagnosis of malaria, compatible with use in tropical areas in the absence of specialized personnel.
After the first experiments in 2019 that showed how TMek is able, in just 10 minutes , to provide a quantitative result with a sensitivity limit of 10 parasites per microL of blood, the new validation study has arrived. which confirmed its potential as a rapid quantitative and selective test for the early diagnosis of malaria.
TMek was created by the interdisciplinary research team led by professors Giorgio Ferrari (Electronics), Beniamino Fiore (Bioengineering) and Roberto Bertacco (Physics) and funded by Polisocial Award , the social responsibility program of the Politecnico di Milano. To ensure an ethical use of any proceeds deriving from the exploitation of intellectual property, the initiative is protected with "social" patents and the inventors have renounced their rights in favor of financing research projects with a social purpose.
The project was also realized thanks to the support of the Alumnae and Alumni who have donated and continue to donate to ensure the ethical development of TMek and create a unique diagnostic tool in the fight against malaria. Donate.