The Application of Microfluidic Devices for Viral Diagnosis in Developing Countries
Whilst diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders are increasing in the developed world, the main threat to global health remains viral-based infectious disease. Such diseases are notably prevalent in developing countries, where they represent a major cause of mortality; however, their detection and prevention is typically hampered by poor infrastructure and a lack of resources to support the sophisticated diagnostic tools commonly found in modern laboratories. Microfluidic-based diagnostics has the potential to close the gap between developed and developing world medical needs due to the robustness and reduced operating costs such technology offers. The most recent developments in microfluidic diagnostics for viral infections have explored the separation and enumeration of immune cells, the capture and identification of viral particles, and antiviral drug evaluation within microchannels and chambers. Advances in solid-phase separation, isothermal amplification, real-time detection of nucleotide products, and improved efficiency of detection systems in microfluidic platforms have also opened up opportunities for diagnostic innovation. This chapter reviews the potential capability microfluidic technology can offer in addressing the practical challenges of providing diagnostic technology for developing countries, illustrated by research on key viral diseases.
Key wordsMicrofluidic Diagnostic Viral Developing world HIV Influenza Dengue fever
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