Rice University researchers have developed noninvasive technology that accurately detects malaria through the skin in seconds with a laser scanner. The “vapor nanobubble” requires no dyes or diagnostic chemicals, and there is no need to draw blood. In a recent study, the technology detected even a single malaria-infected cell among a million normal cells with zero false-positive readings.
The new diagnostic uses a low-powered laser that creates tiny vapor “nanobubbles” inside malaria-infected cells. The bursting bubbles have a unique acoustic signature that allows for an extremely sensitive diagnosis.