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新技术可判断抗疟疾药真假 或拯救成千上万生命
作者: 来源:生物探索 2014-07-17

  导读:美国俄勒冈州立大学的科学家和学生设计出一种新型化学试验,可用来判断治疗疟疾药物的真假。该技术操作简单,价格便宜,有望拯救世界各地成千上万的生命,在医学领域广泛应用。

  

 

  抗疟疾药——青蒿琥酯

  美国俄勒冈州立大学科学与工程学院的科学家和学生设计出一种新型的化学试验,该试验花费低、操作简单,可以判断一种药物是否能真正用来治疗疟疾,有望帮助发展中国家解决这一致命的难题。

  世界卫生组织估计,每年可能会有约20万人因使用假冒的抗疟疾药物而失去生命。俄勒冈州立大学的这项新技术可以仅用几美分的成本,通过预先测定药物的真假解决这一难题。如果该技术广泛应用,可以拯救世界各地成千上万的生命,类似的技术也可以用于诊断其它疾病的药物。

  尽管该试验看起来很简单,甚至像一张纸一样便宜,但是实际上它是一个高度复杂的比色测定。消费者可以通过该试验判断他们是否应该服用他们购买的青蒿琥酯——用于治疗严重疟疾最重要的药物。

  研究人员发现,在发展中国家的一些地区,80%的网点会销售假冒药品。一项调查表明,在柬埔寨、老挝、缅甸、泰国和越南38-53%的网点在销售没有活性的药物。青蒿琥酯在发展中国家被认为是一个昂贵的药物,每人治疗成本在1-2美元。自疟疾病发生以来,通过贩卖假药盈利已经是一个普遍现象。除了引起成千上万不必要的死亡外,假药的传播还促进了疟疾病新的多药耐药性菌株的形成,造成全球的安全隐患。

  这项新技术是微流体的一个应用,可以检测出青蒿琥酯药物的存在和水平。将药片压碎后,溶解在水中,取一滴滴在纸上,如果出现黄色,表明药物存在,颜色的深浅表明了所含药物的水平。俄勒冈州立大学化学和计算机科学系的本科生和研究生正在进一步开发一个iPhone应用程序,用来测定颜色的深浅,准确判断药物的存在和水平。科学家们表示,该技术类似于计算机和昂贵实验设备的结合,操作简单,价格便宜,可能在医学领域广泛应用。

  参考文献  

        Low-cost, high-speed identification of counterfeit antimalarial drugs on paper

  文献检索:DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2014.05.050

  With the emergence of artesunate antimalarial counterfeiting in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, we present the production of a rapid, inexpensive and simple colorimetric-based testing kit for the detection of counterfeit artesunate in order to preserve life and prevent the development of multi-drug resistant malaria. The kit works based on paper microfluidics which offer several advantages over conventional microfluidics, and has great potential to generate inexpensive, easy-to-use, rapid and disposable diagnostic devices. Here, we have developed a colorimetric assay that is specific to artesunate and turns yellow upon addition of the sample. The test can be done within minutes, and allows for a semi-quantitative analysis of the artesunate tablets by comparing the developed yellow color on the paper test to a color-coded key chart that comes with the kit. A more accurate and precise analysis is done by utilizing a color analyzer on an iPhone camera that measures the color intensity of the developed color on the paper chip. A digital image of the chip was taken and analyzed by measuring the average gray intensity of the color developed on the paper circle. A plot of the artesunate concentration versus the average gray scale intensity was generated. Results show that the intensity of the yellow color developed on the paper test was consistent and proportional to the amount of artesunate present in the sample. With artesunate concentrations ranging from 0.0 to 20 mg/mL, a linear calibration plot was obtained with a detection limit of 0.98 mg/mL.