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Pathogens 2017, 6(4), 47;

Microfluidics-Based Approaches to the Isolation of African Trypanosomes

Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK
Division of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, G12 8LT, Glasgow, UK
Division of Solid State Physics and Nano Lund, Lund University, PO Box 118, S-221 00, Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 October 2017 / Published: 5 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trypanosoma brucei)
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African trypanosomes are responsible for significant levels of disease in both humans and animals. The protozoan parasites are free-living flagellates, usually transmitted by arthropod vectors, including the tsetse fly. In the mammalian host they live in the bloodstream and, in the case of human-infectious species, later invade the central nervous system. Diagnosis of the disease requires the positive identification of parasites in the bloodstream. This can be particularly challenging where parasite numbers are low, as is often the case in peripheral blood. Enriching parasites from body fluids is an important part of the diagnostic pathway. As more is learned about the physicochemical properties of trypanosomes, this information can be exploited through use of different microfluidic-based approaches to isolate the parasites from blood or other fluids. Here, we discuss recent advances in the use of microfluidics to separate trypanosomes from blood and to isolate single trypanosomes for analyses including drug screening. View Full-Text
Keywords: trypanosomes; microfluidics; separation; isolation; DLD; dielectrophoresis; drug testing; concentration ramping; optical trap; diagnosis trypanosomes; microfluidics; separation; isolation; DLD; dielectrophoresis; drug testing; concentration ramping; optical trap; diagnosis

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Barrett, M.P.; Cooper, J.M.; Regnault, C.; Holm, S.H.; Beech, J.P.; Tegenfeldt, J.O.; Hochstetter, A. Microfluidics-Based Approaches to the Isolation of African Trypanosomes. Pathogens 2017, 6, 47.

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