NEW DELHI: Aiming to reduce the workload of healthcare professionals during the pandemic, a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed a handheld device for early diagnosis of dengue. With this device, test results will be generated within one hour while the current process takes more than a day.
IIT-D in collaboration with the ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) has tested the handheld device on blood samples collected from hundreds of individuals. The researchers at IIT said early diagnosis of dengue is key to prevent deterioration of a patient’s health but the conventional tools like nucleic acid detection using RT-PCR takes time and also requires expensive equipment and reagents.
These types of common diseases require a rapid, scalable and point-of-care diagnosis at the community level and to reduce the workload of healthcare professionals, the GLancing Angle Deposition (GLAD) research group at IIT Delhi’s physics department has developed a handheld Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) based platform for early diagnosis of dengue virus, said the principal investigator of the project, Professor J P Singh.
The integrated device can clearly differentiate three sets of blood samples — dengue positive, negative and healthy. This method provides a sensitive, rapid and field-deployable diagnosis of dengue at the early stage, said the researchers.