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EXPRESS: Disposable Coverslip for Rapid Throughput Screening of Malaria Using Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) Spectroscopy
Applied Spectroscopy  (IF2.388),  Pub Date : 2021-04-20, DOI: 10.1177/00037028211012722
Thulya Chakkumpulakkal Puthan Veettil, Kamila Kochan, Karen Edler, Paul Andrew De Bank, Philip Heraud, Bayden Wood

Malaria is considered to be one of the most catastrophic health issues in the whole world. Vibrational spectroscopy is a rapid, robust, label-free, inexpensive, highly sensitive, non-perturbative and non-destructive technique with high diagnostic potential for the early detection of disease agents. In particular, the fingerprinting capability of Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) spectroscopy is promising as a point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tool in resource limited areas. However, improvements are required to expedite the measurements of biofluids, including the drying procedure and subsequent cleaning of the internal reflection element (IRE) to enable high throughput successive measurements. As an alternative, we propose using an inexpensive coverslip to reduce the sample preparation time by enabling multiple samples to be collectively dried together under the same temperature and conditions. In conjunction with Partial Least-Squares Regression (PLS-R), ATR spectroscopy was able to detect and quantify the parasitemia with Root Mean Square Error of Cross Validation (RMSECV) and R<sup>2</sup> values of 0.177 and 0.985, respectively. Here we characterise an inexpensive, disposable coverslip for the high throughput screening of malaria parasitic infections and thus demonstrate an alternative approach to direct deposition of the sample onto the IRE.