Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
June 21, 2021

India’s IISc creates diagnostic test for sickle-cell disease

The low-cost absorbance spectroscopy-based test could become an alternative to HPLC.

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has created a diagnostic test for identifying sickle cell disease (SCD) and sickle cell trait (SCT).

A genetic disorder of the red blood cells, SCD causes recurrent episodes of debilitating pain.

Additional symptoms can include chronic anaemia, acute chest syndrome, stroke, splenic and renal dysfunction, pain crises and susceptibility to bacterial infections.

The test was developed by a team led by IISc professor Sai Siva Gorthi in partnership with Dr Nisanth Nambisson from the Government Homeopathy medical college (GHMC), Bhopa, India.

It could become a low-cost alternative to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis, which is time-consuming as well as being priced between $5.39 (Rs400) and $9.43 (Rs700).

Named HPOS, the absorbance spectroscopy-based test leverages an algorithm based on machine learning to classify samples.

Content from our partners
The added value of Qarad’s multilingual freephone service to their eIFU solution
Small and simple: how medical device manufacturers select materials
Precision wire: The future of bespoke medical treatment

It utilises low-cost reagents and a movable spectrometer to deliver results in 15 minutes.

The clinical trials of the HPOS test are being conducted along with GHMC and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) National Institute of Research on Tribal Health, Jabalpur.

The technology of the test was licensed by an IISc incubated company, Shanmukha Innovations, which is working on making the diagnostic test available under the SickleFind and SickleCertn brands in India.

In addition, the researchers are seeking patent protection for the technology.

At present, India has more than a million patients with SCD, which accounts for more than 50% of SCD patients in the world.

The condition is most widespread in tribal communities in the central Indian belt, which ranges from south-eastern Gujarat to south-western Odisha.

Furthermore, about 200,000 babies are born with SCD each year, the IISc noted.

As the sickle gene is common among many tribal people in India, with the occurrence of the SCT ranging from 1% to 40%, it is vital to test the population for SCT to reduce the disease prevalence.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The medical device industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy