Maliva is a chewing gum laden with magnetic nanoparticles that may represent a cheap and effective delivery method for diagnosing Malaria in under-served populations.

Maliva is a chewing gum laden with magnetic nanoparticles that may represent a cheap and effective delivery method for diagnosing Malaria in under-served populations. The research project, which is led by Dr. Andrew Fung and funded by The Gates Foundation, diagnoses malaria by looking for the same blood antigens in your saliva that are found in your blood — which is the traditional testing model.

This novel method would see patients chew gum for a couple of minutes, generating saliva that contains malaria parasites. The magnetic nanoparticles, which are infused with antigen-detecting antibodies, would then attach themselves to the malaria parasite molecules. The patient can then remove the gum and place it on a special paper strip. If the patient has malaria, the malaria-infused nanoparticles will show up as a thin line on the paper. Of course, if no line shows up, then the patient is malaria-free.

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