Microfluidics and Nanotechnology for Detection of Global Infectious Diseases

Gregory L. Damhorst, Maurine Murtagh, William R. Rodriguez, Rashid Bashir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Infectious diseases remain among the world's leading causes of mortality and years of life lost. Significant attention has been paid to the "Big Three" infectious pathogens - human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) - but other conditions such as Chagas' disease, dengue, Ebola, and typhoid, as well as multipathogen processes such as viral hepatitis, pneumonia, and diarrhea, also have major global impact. Addressing these significant disease burdens, which disproportionately impact the world's poorest regions, is a multifaceted grand challenge, requiring new solutions and new technologies. Diagnostics enabled by advances in microfluidics and nanotechnologies can be an important part of the solution. Advantages such as smaller sample size, increased sensitivity, and new multiplexed sensing modalities in a point-of-care format can allow rapid dissemination of test results in remote and resource-limited regions. In this review, we provide a critical assessment of the state-of-the-art in use of these technologies for detection of HIV, malaria, and TB. In addition to discussing opportunities and future prospects, we also discuss the need for additional governmental and nongovernmental funding sources to develop these technologies to their fullest potential, and the need for new business models to enable their commercialization and deployment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7067024
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensors
  • diagnostics
  • global health
  • infectious diseases
  • malaria
  • microfluidics
  • nanotechnology
  • point-of-care
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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