Nikhil Gopal | Fight Malaria

NIKHIL GOPAL

Student, Lawrenceville School

Who:

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).

Goal:

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)

Project:

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.​​​​​​​

Nikhil Gopal: Malaria DNA Amplifying Device

A model of Gopal's malaria DNA amplifying device.

Blog:

Follow Nikhil's research journey by receiving updates via his blog page on Fight Malaria.


Read the latest articles from Nikhil Gopal.

Collaborations:

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

Publications:

Contact:

If you'd like to contact Nikhil, you can send a letter to:


The Lawrenceville School

2500 Main Street

Lawrenceville, NJ 08648


Alternatively, you can write him an email

Or connect with him on Twitter