Global Health


DMI is committed to providing low-cost, cost-effective tools, diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics for global health.  Today, there are significant health disparities in the administration of healthcare across the world.  This is further compounded by difficult-to-treat and widespread diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.  We currently have a number of active research programs to address these diseases using innovative technologies.


Non-Invasive Malaria Diagnosis

Product Under Development.

The current gold-standard for malaria diagnosis, light microscopy, is costly and requires a high level of proficiency.  A non-invasive approach to diagnosis will have significant advantages in ease-of-use, will decrease operator risk, and enhance disease monitoring.  Hemozoin, a Plasmodium byproduct, has unique optical properties which can be exploited for diagnostic purposes.  We have developed a prototype LED scanner that has successfully measured β-hematin (BH) in blood at a level equivalent to 0.0002% parasitemia, corresponding to levels 10-fold lower than World Health Organization recommendations.

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LED Malaria Scanner and Results.  (A) Prototype LED scanner, battery-powered, that allows highly sensitive detection of malarial hemozoin.  (B)  0.0002% equivalent parasitemia detected using the prototype device.  The voltage changes on the photodiodes are measured for BH spiked into blood and blood alone.
Chan, EY, Maiorca, K, Bae, C., Sharpe, N., Tripuraneni, V, Sharpe, J.  Malaria β-haematin in blood results in synergistic attenuation enhancement:  Studies with a conventional multimode reader and a custom LED device.  Malaria World Journal.  May 27, 2013 – 19:50.



Diagnosis of Latent Tuberculosis

Product Under Development.

tuberculosisInfection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is challenging to detect given that it can remain asymptomatic for many years.  Latent TB can become active an lead to disease, whose symptoms include night sweats, chronic cough, blood-tinged sputum, and weight loss.  Strains of multi-drug resistant TB have arisen, which further compound the problem.  Unfortunately, methods to diagnose latent TB are challenging.  Currently, the PPD test is widespread, but there are significant false positives, part of which arise from those vaccinated with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.  We are currently developing a simple method to diagnose latent TB.