We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.
16 Feb 2023 - 18 Feb 2023

Mobile Phone Microscope Aids Malaria Diagnosis

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Sep 2015
Print article
Image: The MOPID device atached to an iPhone (Photo courtesy Casey of Pirnstill/ TAMU).
Image: The MOPID device atached to an iPhone (Photo courtesy Casey of Pirnstill/ TAMU).
A 3-D printed polarized microscope that can be attached to a mobile phone could help faster malaria detection in areas with limited access to expensive lab facilities and expert technicians.

Developed by researchers at Texas A&M University (TAMU; College Station, TX, USA), the low-cost, lightweight, high quality mobile-optical-polarization imaging device (MOPID) offers 40–100x magnification, sufficient to image pigmentation of the hemozoin crystal, a waste product produced by ‎Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. To perform the test, a glass slide with a blood smear is inserted into the device; the cell phone camera then takes a picture, and the photo shows the presence (or absence) of malaria.

The MOPID system consists of a commercial Apple iPhone 5S cellular phone, a snap on 3D-printed cartridge with individual compartments that allowed for polarized microscopy, two polarizer sheets, low-power white light emitting diodes (LEDs), and a plastic lens assembly configuration allowing for appropriate magnification, resolution, and field of view (FOV) for diagnosing the presence of the malaria parasite. The analyzer can be rotated to vary the degree of polarization, thus allowing for birefringence measurements from the hemozoin crystal.

The researchers are moving forward to construct a more durable, compact, and cheaper device for in vivo field-testing in Rwanda. They envision that the final product could be available for less than USD 1.00 per test result, not including the cost of the mobile phone attached to the MOPID device. A study describing the system and comparing performance to a Leica Microsystems (Wetzlar, Germany) DMLM polarized white light microscope was published on August 25, 2015, in Nature Scientific Reports.

“Because of the lack of access to lab testing, many health-care providers rely on rapid diagnostic tests, which are the equivalent of a pregnancy test for parasites. They are not always reliable and can lead to misdiagnosis and overtreatment. Giving medicine to those who don’t need it is causing drug-resistant strains of malaria to develop,” said lead author biomedical engineer Casey Pirnstill, BSc. “The device could be used by a nurse or other health outreach workers. The original photos would be saved in case further interpretation by a doctor is required.”

There are more than 200 million new malaria cases yearly, and high-quality microscopy is still the most accurate method for detection of infection. Microscopy, however, requires well-trained personnel and can be very time-consuming. As a result, less than half of the suspected malaria cases in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 received a diagnostic test.

Related Links:

Texas A&M University
Leica Microsystems

Gold Supplier
Premium Ultrasound Scanner
High Frequency X-Ray Generator
Analgesic Gas Delivery System
O-Two Equinox Advantage
Radiography System
Riviera SPV

Print article



view channel
Image: A novel research study moves the needle on predicting coronary artery disease (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

AI-Enabled ECG Analysis Predicts Heart Attack Risk Nearly as well as CT Scans

Increased coronary artery calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease that can lead to a heart attack. Traditionally, CT scans are used to diagnose buildup of coronary artery calcium, although CT scanners... Read more

Critical Care

view channel
Image: The new biomaterial heals tissues from the inside out (Photo courtesy of UC San Diego)

Groundbreaking Biomaterial Injected Intravenously Repairs Cells and Tissue Damaged by Heart Attack and TBI

Following a heart attack, there is development of scar tissue, which affects muscle function and can result in congestive heart failure. However, there is still no established treatment available for repairing... Read more

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: Gut microbiota helps healing in colorectal cancer surgery (Photo courtesy of CRCHUM)

Modifying Intestinal Flora Before Surgery Reduces Postoperative Complications in Colorectal Cancer Patients

Up to 30% of all patients undergoing colorectal surgery suffer from serious complications due to poor healing of their intestinal barrier. Anastomotic complications cause inflammation, serious infection... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: Steripath improves the diagnostic accuracy and timeliness of sepsis test results (Photo courtesy of Magnolia)

All-in-One Device Reduces False-Positive Diagnostic Test Results for Bloodstream Infections

Blood cultures are considered the gold standard diagnostic test for the detection of blood stream infections, such as sepsis. However, positive blood culture results can be frequently wrong, and about... Read more


view channel
Image: The global patient positioning systems market is projected to reach USD 1.7 billion by 2027 (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Global Patient Positioning Systems Market Driven by Increasing Chronic Diseases

The global patient positioning systems market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4% from USD 1.4 billion in 2022 to USD 1.7 billion by 2027, driven by increasing technological advancements in medical devices,... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.