ECE professor Pingshan Wang has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop RF sensors for rapid diagnostic tests (RDTS) of malaria. In the Single-Cell EPR Sensors for Rapid Diagnostic Tests of Malaria project, Dr. Wang will develop a radio-frequency sensor to detect and analyze malaria pigment in a single red and white blood cell. If successful, automated and portable electron-paramagnetic-resonance devices should be possible for accurate and quantitative malaria diagnostics with blood or non-invasive fingertip test systems.
This work takes advantage of Dr. Pingshan Wang’s expertise in RF electronics and nanotechnology. In these areas, Dr. Wang and his collaborators are working on high-frequency microfluidic/nanofluidic devices, frequency-domain and time-domain RF signal generation and detection circuits, in addition to biological material sensing and analysis with RF probing fields.
The Grand Challenges Explorations program strives to foster creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world. Grants target an expanding set of global health topics, and there are two award rounds per year. Projects with demonstrated success in their initial phase of research have the opportunity to receive Phase II funding of up to $1 million. Launched in 2008, more than 700 Grand Challenge Explorations grants have been awarded to innovative, early-stage projects in 45 countries.