The World Health Organization estimates that, globally, nearly 225 million people were infected with malaria over the past year resulting in over 800,000 deaths, 85% of which comprise children under the age of five (WHO 2010 Malaria Report). This grim number actually illustrates hopeful progress that has been made over data reported in the previous year through aggressive education, intervention and therapy developments. Although the downward estimated trend in global malarial infections is encouraging, other disturbing trends are emerging. In the South-east Asian region, the disease is making a comeback largely due to the introduction of counterfeit or under-dose medications. Counterfeit anti-malarial “therapies” are giving the disease carrying mosquitoes the upper hand. In a RIT-RGH Alliance project, and in collaboration with a research team at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, we are developing sensitive and specific analytical chemical assays and methods to detect counterfeits medications for use at the point of care. Translating these assays to inexpensive, field-ready, devices are also being developed.
Gadolinium-based MRI Contrast Agent Nanostructures
Determination of Free and Bound Bilirubin in Human Serum.
Mayer, K. et. al.: Hepatitis B Assays in Serum, Plasma and Whole Blood on Filter Paper. BMC Clinical Pathology, 12:8, 2012.
Bowels, D. et. al: Chemiluminescent Identificaiton and Quantification of Artemisinin and Relavant Sesquiterpene Lactone Derivatives. Applied Spectroscopy, 66:2, 175-179, 2012.
Avani Sudhakar, an biochemistry undergraduate at RIT, presented research that suggests an alternative mechanism of action for lumefantrine - an drug used in Coartem to fight Malaria.
We also published work in the area of Functional Printing - a convergent field that leverages the precision placement of materials using the printing method and material science. RIT is home to the Printing Applications Laboratory- a resource for printing know-how and expertise involving the latest printing technology.