Student, Lawrenceville School
Nikhil Gopal is a fourth year student at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville NJ. For the last few years he has been working on a device to detect malaria. Gopal's first device relied on the principles of ELISA. The second device he developed used a DNA based amplification method (LAMP).
Gopal wants to find a low-tech highly scalable solution for plasmodium quantification that can be used in rural settings. The device would need to be easy-to-use, run on battery power, and be inexpensive (under $5)
Laboratory based tests like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) are certainly sensitive enough to amplify sections of the malaria genome, however they are impractical to use in the developing world. Gopal wanted to create something that could run on battery power, without the need for AC electricity, and would require only minimal training.
His system relies on a technique known as isothermal loop amplification (LAMP) and is similar to PCR, but does not require bulky lab equipment. Instead of using an expensive thermocycler, the portable LAMP system uses a flameless camping stove based on meals-ready-to-eat (MRE) heaters.
Ruben Raychaudhuri (Medical student), The Medical College of Wisconsin
Linda Brzustowicz MD (Professor), Rutgers University Dept of Genetics
Marco Azaro PhD (Asst Professor), Rutgers University Dept of Genetics
Jared Hayter (Lab Manager), Rutgers University Dept of Genetics
Gopal NS, Hayter J, Azaro M, Brzustowicz LM. Plasmodium Aldolase Quantification Using Portable Isothermal Loop Amplification (LAMP) and a Smartphone. Presented at the American Society of Parasitologists Annual Meeting, June 2017.
Gopal NS, Raychaudhuri R. Detection of Plasmodium Aldolase Using a Smartphone and Microfluidic Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Malaria Research and Treatment. 2017;2017:9062514. doi:10.1155/2017/9062514.
Gopal NS, Raychaudhuri R, Brzustowicz LM. Plasmodium Aldolase Detection using a Smartphone and a Microfluidic Chip: Electricity-Free ELISA for Malaria Monitoring. Presented at the American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting, June 2016.