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Detection of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells by optical stretching

Mauritz J, Tiffert T, Seear R, Lautenschläger F, Esposito A, Lew V, Guck J, Kaminski F, "Detection ofPlasmodium falciparum infected red blod cells by optical stretching", J. Biomed. Opt., Vol. 15, 030517 (2010), DOI:10.1117/1.3458919 | pdf


We present the application of a microfluidic optical cell stretcher to measure the elasticity of malaria-infected red blood cells. The measurements confirm an increase in host cell rigidity during the maturation of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The device combines the selectivity and sensitivity of single-cell elasticity measurements with a throughput that is higher than conventional single-cell techniques. The method has potential to detect early stages of infection with excellent sensitivity and high speed.