Nanotechnology diagnostics for infectious diseases prevalent in developing countries

Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Advanced drug delivery reviews (Impact Factor: 15.04). 11/2009; 62(4-5):438-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2009.11.015
Source: PubMed


Infectious diseases are prevalent in the developing world and are one of the developing world's major sources of morbidity and mortality. While infectious diseases can initiate in a localized region, they can spread rapidly at any moment due to the ease of traveling from one part of the world to the next. This could lead to a global pandemic. One key to preventing this spread is the development of diagnostics that can quickly identify the infectious agent so that one can properly treat or in some severe cases, quarantine a patient. There have been major advances in diagnostic technologies but infectious disease diagnostics are still based on 50-year technologies that are limited by speed of analysis, need for skilled workers, poor detection threshold and inability to detect multiple strains of infectious agents. Here, we describe advances in nanotechnology and microtechnology diagnostics for infectious diseases. In these diagnostic schemes, the nanomaterials are used as labels or barcodes while microfluidic systems are used to automate the sample preparation and the assays. We describe the current state of the field and the challenges.

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    • "In the latter, hybridisation of Au-nanoprobes to the target sequence will prevent the non-cross-linking aggregation induced by increasing ionic strength (Figure 1; Sato et al., 2003; Baptista et al., 2005). Thus, modulation of AuNP or Au-nanoprobe inter-particle distance allows control over their corresponding aggregation and dispersion levels providing visual detection for a wide range of biological entities (Hauck et al., 2010; Ngo et al., 2011). "
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    Frontiers in Microbiology 08/2014; 5:455. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00455 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "The reasons behind most deaths today are either late diagnosis, inability to diagnose the main reason or location of disease or misinterpretation of data. We do hope nanotechnology, for instance nanites, will one day be able to scurry throughout our bodies via the circulatory system (traveling through our blood) and monitor every single vital sign that exists (141), for example, whether there are any broken bones, torn muscle tissue, irregularities, screen metabolism levels, observe cholesterol levels, monitor hormone levels, make sure that the organs are functioning properly, and any other requirement for a healthy body. "
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    02/2014; 5. DOI:10.3402/nano.v5.22762
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    • "Plasmodium (P.) falciparum, P. vivax, P. Malariae, P. ovale and P. knowlesi, P. falciparum is the most important parasite causing morbidity and mortality (Wongsrichanalai et al., 2007). Although various antimalarial drugs are commercially available, the drug resistance still becomes a major concern due to the indiscriminate dispensing of the most effective drug and the parasite diagnosis (Hauck et al., 2010). The microscopic examination of stained blood smear is a high sensitive and specific technique which provides a clear identification of parasite stages, i.e. ring, trophozoite, schizont and gametocyte. "
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