Vasu – Innovative 3D printed smartphone case can diagnose malaria
Innovative Application Student Award, organized by Dutch optics 3D printing specialist Luxexcel, featured Vasu, a 3D printed smartphone case that can diagnose malaria using microfludic principles and an accompanying mobile app. Vasu, which means ‘bright’ in Hindi is designed by industrial design student Leroy Huikeshoven specifically for Indian population. Currently, this innovative smartphone cover is fitted on a Huawei Ascend P6 smartphone . According to Huikeshoven, this cover features a clever system that can quickly quantify the amount of malaria parasites in a patient and immediately facilitate accurate treatment.
The chip and lenses for Vasu were 3D printed in Polymethyl methacrylate using Printoptical Technology.
How does it work?
By examining patient’s blood sample collected on an specially 3D printed disposable microchip, Vasu can diagnose and distinguish between two forms of malaria parasites – plasmodium vivax and plasmodium falciparum. Such a quick diagnose allow swift communication to health experts, who can then attend the patient with preparation.
Hukeshoven found inspiration from a random paper that explained similar concept.
This paper described a concept much like Vasu, but still in laboratory state. I made this concept into a real feasible and viable product, iterating upon the concept in the paper. And this is probably what industrial designer mainly is. They make the last big iteration upon concepts and innovations to get them out in the market, to actuality let society benefit from new discoveries and innovations,
Further, Huikeshoven is working on Vasu to develop it into a commercially viable product. He also wishes to make it standalone malaria test that would not be dependent on smartphone to be functional. The project is expected to open doors from groundbreaking microfluidic 3D printing projects that would increase living standards and the way healthcare services work in a developing nation like India.