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Journal of RF-Engineering and Telecommunications

Editor-in-Chief: Jakoby, Rolf

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Volume 72, Issue 3-4


Towards the Development of THz-Sensors for the Detection of African Trypanosomes

Robert Knieß / Carolin B. Wagner / H. Ulrich Göringer / Mario Mueh / Christian Damm / Simon Sawallich / Bartos Chmielak / Ulrich Plachetka / Max Lemme
Published Online: 2018-03-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/freq-2018-0011


Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) for which adequate therapeutic and diagnostic measures are still lacking. Causative agent of HAT is the African trypanosome, a single-cell parasite, which propagates in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of infected patients. Although different testing methods for the pathogen exist, none is robust, reliable and cost-efficient enough to support large-scale screening and control programs. Here we propose the design of a new sensor-type for the detection of infective-stage trypanosomes. The sensor exploits the highly selective binding capacity of nucleic acid aptamers to the surface of the parasite in combination with passive sensor structures to allow an electromagnetic remote read-out using terahertz (THz)-radiation. The short wavelength provides a superior interaction with the parasite cells than longer wavelengths, which is essential for a high sensitivity. We present two different sensor structures using both, micro- and nano-scale elements, as well as different measurement principles.

Keywords: terahertz sensors; biosensors; trypanosomes

PACS: 87.85.fk


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About the article

Received: 2018-01-05

Published Online: 2018-03-17

Published in Print: 2018-03-26

Citation Information: Frequenz, Volume 72, Issue 3-4, Pages 101–111, ISSN (Online) 2191-6349, ISSN (Print) 0016-1136, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/freq-2018-0011.

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