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University of South Florida and Draper team to create advanced devices for testing malaria drugs
Date:2/8/2011

thal blood loss, Dr. Adams said. "There's no good bedside test to identify G6PD-deficient individuals, and, unfortunately, this condition most often occurs in those areas where vivax malaria is endemic."

Microfludic Device Technology

To create new models to mimic human body conditions in which malaria parasites replicate, the researchers are using Draper's prototype microfluidic device technology. The microfluidic device, consists of microscope slide-sized unit containing chambers through which fluid flow is maintained by a micro-pump. It is designed to support complex tissue growth, allowing liver or blood vessel cells to grow in three dimensions while experiencing physiologically relevant forces instead of on the static two-dimensional surface of a petri dish. This technology, previously unavailable in a lab setting, may also prove useful for screening large volumes of potential anti-malarial agents and evaluating their effectiveness.

"The Draper models offer unique microenvironments, so cells grow and function more normally," Dr. Kyle said. "That's important because one major roadblock to learning about the liver stage of the malaria parasite has been that the liver cells lose some of their basic functions and no longer metabolize drugs after a few days."


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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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