Staining-free malaria diagnostics by multispectral and multimodality light-emitting-diode microscopy

J Biomed Opt. 2013 Mar;18(3):036002. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.3.036002.


We report an accurate optical differentiation technique between healthy and malaria-infected erythrocytes by quasi-simultaneous measurements of transmittance, reflectance, and scattering properties of unstained blood smears using a multispectral and multimode light-emitting diode microscope. We propose a technique for automated imaging, identification, and counting of malaria-infected erythrocytes for real-time and cost-effective parasitaemia diagnosis as an effective alternative to the manual screening of stained blood smears, now considered to be the gold standard in malaria diagnosis. We evaluate the performance of our algorithm against manual estimations of an expert and show a spectrally resolved increased scattering from malaria-infected blood cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Malaria / blood
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Parasitemia / blood
  • Parasitemia / diagnosis*
  • Parasitemia / parasitology
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods*