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Professor Jens Ducree, a Principal Investigator at the BDI, will be giving a keynote presentation at the upcoming International Workshop on Microsystems Technologies for African Health. The workshop will be held at the Protea Hotel, Kruger Gate, Mpumalanga, South Africa, from 7 – 10 September 2011.

Over the last 20 years, microsystems engineering has lead to many beneficial micro-based products being realised, most recently focussing on health applications. Microfluidic and microsystem based devices are at the forefront of diagnostic development for resource poor areas, by offering solutions to problems including lack of electric power, running water, clean laboratories and skilled people.

Work on devices to be used at the point of care (POC) in Africa for diagnosing common diseases such as HIV/Aids, TB and malaria, where infrastructure is lacking, will significantly impact on the disease burden currently being faced. A key research focus of the BDI is the development of cost effective diagnostic devices for low resource environments.

The workshop will facilitate networking between the many people involved: from health workers implementing the role-out of new devices, to researchers looking to the next generation of the device, allowing for more efficient development and use of diagnostic tools. The workshop aims to jointly define target specifications for these devices.

The workshop will focus on the following themes:

  • Burden of disease in Africa
  • Microfluidic diagnostic technologies
  • Point of care diagnostics
  • Water quality monitoring

The single session workshop will provide a forum for researchers, technologists, entrepreneurs, NGO's and funding bodies to interact on the latest developments and future trends in the multidisciplinary field of microsystems technology, specifically aimed at addressing health related issues. It will bring together internationally recognised experts from all over the world who are working in this very exciting and challenging field, as well as POC providers for Africa.

Further information on the workshop can be found here.