ISLAMABAD: Ignite-National Technology Fund under the ministry of information technology and telecommunication (MoIT) has planned to develop a portable optical sensor for on-site diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).
Project Manager Dr Muhammad Imran Cheema said, “The overall goal of the project is to develop an easy to use non-invasive, accurate, sensitive, and a label-free optical sensor that provides immediate TB diagnosis without the aid of specialised laboratory personnel.”
He said that one approach for TB diagnosis involves the detection of a TB-specific biomarker panel. The biomarkers can be present in blood, clinically developed culture sample or breath of a patient infected with TB, he added.
Optical sensors leveraging spectroscopy, which are widely used in military and space applications, have a tremendous potential of providing an accurate, sensitive, and real-time TB test and the sensor will also be easily portable to remote areas with lack of healthcare infrastructure, Dheema said. He added, “Here, we propose to develop a novel optical sensor that can analyse the breath of a patient for rapid and on-site TB diagnosis.”
Ignite CEO Yusuf Hussain said, “We aim to bring a strategic shift in the direction of the fund towards creating a knowledge economy by funding startups which can ignite innovation in different fields.”