The Integrated Lightwave Research Group at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, through partnerships with Flexilicate Sdn Bhd, the University of Ottawa in Canada, and the University of Southampton in the UK, are currently developing a rapid, point-of-care, inexpensive dengue sensor that would facilitate the ongoing global effort in successfully combating and effectively managing the disease that affects 230 million individuals in the southern hemisphere annually.
The technology is based on surface plasmon and microfluidics, with the ability to provide results within one hour as opposed to the one to three day turnaround time using current approaches and technologies.
A beta-version of the device is being completed under the prestigious Newton-Ungku Omar pre-commercial fund. Field testing of the device will commence at end of this year with the support of the University of Malaya Medical Centre which in 2016, handled 120,000 confirmed cases.
As a rule of thumb, there will be one confirmed dengue sufferer in every 10 patient displaying the symptoms of the disease. This implies a tremendously large demand for accessible detection technologies that are inexpensive, simple to use, and rugged enough for use in geographically challenging environments.
The core technologies used in our sensor can be extended to detect other types of diseases and have been proven to potentially detect leukemia.
Flexilicate was founded by Professor Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan, University of Malaya’s Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of development and Dr. Ghafour Amouzad Mahdiraji.