New Microneedle Patch Detects Malaria

The self-applied diagnostic patch provides results in as little as 20 minutes.

A recent Medgadget article noted a new diagnostic tool for malaria. A team of researchers at Rice University has created a microneedle patch that users can apply to their skin to determine if they have malaria. The low-cost technology is usable by just about anyone, and produces results in about 20 minutes. 

The patch contains a 4 x 4 matrix of hollow microneedles that collects interstitial fluid and tests it for protein biomarkers of malaria. Much like a pregnancy test, the device provides a visual result with colored strips. The patch, which costs around $1 when produced in bulk, can be used to detect a range of other diseases, including COVID-19.