Malaria Breathalyzer: A Point of Care Diagnostic Tool

Team: ChemBE Product Design Team G

Program: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

The Malaria Breathalyzer is a point of care diagnostic test that measures the levels of two terpenes, p-cymene and limonene, which are known biomarkers for malaria. The device displays the combined concentration of these terpenes, and a concentration above 6 ppb (about 2.5 times the normal human terpene levels) indicates a positive malaria diagnosis. The terpenes are present at the earliest stages of malaria infection, and because the disease can develop rapidly, catching it early leads to a better prognosis for patients. Our intended market is the travel sector, specifically in areas where passengers return from high malaria-risk regions, like Africa and Southeast Asia. Our goal is to aid in the world-wide malaria eradication effort by focusing on testing in low-transmission areas where more invasive testing methods like microscopy and blood-prick rapid diagnostic tests are not commonly used.