Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test for Beta-Thalassemia


Hemoglobin (Hb) disorders are among the most common monogenic diseases affecting nearly 7% of the world population. Among various Hb disorders, approximately 1.5% of the world population carries β-thalassemia (β-Thal), affecting 40,000 newborns every year. Early screening and a timely diagnosis are essential for β-thalassemia patients for the prevention and management of later clinical complications. However, in Africa, Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, where β-thalassemia is most prevalent, the diagnosis and screening for β-thalassemia are still challenging due to the cost and logistical burden of laboratory diagnostic tests. Here, we present Gazelle, which is a paper-based microchip electrophoresis platform that enables the first point-of-care diagnostic test for β-thalassemia. We evaluated the accuracy of Gazelle for the β-Thal screening across 372 subjects in the age range of 4–63 years at Apple Diagnostics lab in Mumbai, India. Additionally, 30 blood samples were prepared to mimic β-Thal intermediate and β-Thal major samples. Gazelle-detected levels of Hb A, Hb F, and Hb A2 demonstrated high levels of correlation with the results reported through laboratory gold standard high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), yielding a Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.99. This ability to obtain rapid and accurate results suggests that Gazelle may be suitable for the large-scale screening and diagnosis of β-Thal.




Biosensors 14 (2): 83 (2024)