IMPRINT: Development of an affordable, automated and field deployable, point of care and contained system for rapid diagnosis of TB caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Team members: Ravikrishnan Elangovan, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Delhi. Prof Seyed E Hasnain, KSBS IIT Delhi & Jamia Hamdard University. Prof Nasreen E, NIOP, ICMR, Delhi.

Industrial Partner: Valetude Primus Healthcare Pvt LTd.

IIT researchers are developing an affordable system for the diagnosis of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium. The project is a part of IMPRINT programme, an MHRD supported Pan-IIT + IISc joint initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges of the country.

Tuberculosis (TB) is major global health burden causing 1.5 million deaths annually. Affordable and sensitive detection of TB is urgently required to catch 3x106 TB patient who are left undiagnosed. Definitive diagnostics of pulmonary TB is performed by confirming the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in sputum samples.

Currently smear microscopy is the main diagnostic method used in India, which lacks desired sensitivity. The researchers propose to develop a field deployable, automated, affordable and rapid MTB diagnostics test-system called “iMC2 TB test”.

“This involves thinning of the sputum sample in a single use capture bottle preloaded with reagents and followed by immuno-magnetic enrichment of the MTB cells using an automated, portable device. Enriched MTB cells will be confirmed using an inbuilt fluorescent detector. Assay kit will be pre-packaged, designed to drastically minimize exposure of aerosol to clinical workers, would cost around 300-500 INR and will take about 60 minutes per sample,” says Ravikrishnan Elangovan, the principal investigator of the project.

Investigator’s plan to test the device and assay in 100 clinical sample this year, based on the initial results further large scale clinical trials will be conducted.