Anti-malarial pills are among the most highly counterfeited drugs in Africa. Malaria kills between 1 and 3 million people every year, with 90% of those deaths in Africa. This reduces productivity in Africa by $12 billion and devastates local economies. The project aims to identify counterfeit anti-malarial drugs by developing a new technique to detect the concentration of artemisinin (the active ingredient) in these pills. Due to the prevalence of counterfeit drugs that have minimal amounts of this active ingredient, identifying its concentration in a pill has become important. The innovative aspect of this technique Spot-It!, is that it achieves the challenging task of measuring the concentration of active ingredient by combining two elementary methods, Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and a simple chemical reaction.
Team Members: Shreya Condamoor, Annsea Park, Geunwon Jung