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Microsystems for parasite enrichment

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  • R Medicine (General)
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Musicology
  • Physics

Abstract

The aim of this project was to develop a lab-on-chip platform upon which activities in engineering and parasitology can be brought together to create new low cost diagnostic technologies for Human African Trypanosomiasis, a disease also known as sleeping sickness, for use in resource-poor environments like Sub-Saharan Africa. Filtration and separation of particles is essential for many biochemical and analytical assays. This work describes the development of novel techniques to enhance the separation/enrichment of parasites from whole blood. Techniques like chemotaxis, inertial microfluidics and density based separation were used to achieve the separation/enrichment. This thesis describes (i) development of an assay to confirm the chemotaxis of Trypanosoma brucei towards higher concentrations of glucose, (ii) designing, fabrication and use of inertial microfluidic device for continuous sorting of trypanosomes from blood cells, (iii) density based separation of trypanosomes from whole blood using a two phase Dextran-Ficoll system, and (iv) density based enrichment of trypanosomes using surface acoustic waves. This work represents an important step towards improving the detection of trypanosomes in blood for which microscopy is still considered to be the gold standard.

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