Malaria is putting nearly half of human population at risk being a deadly and highly infectious tropical disease. The cause of this illness is the Plasmodium parasite, which is being spread by mosquitoes infecting human blood. The presence of the infection can be identified by conventional methods such as optical microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests and polymerase chain reaction.
In this work, hemozoin, a microcrystalline byproduct of the malaria parasites was studied by transmission Mueller matrix ellipsometry. Measurement data was collected for different magnetic field orientations and as a function of the density of the hemozoin suspension. Our ellipsometric study demonstrates the magnetic alignment of the hemozoin crystals via the corresponding large linear birefringence and dichroism signals. These results reveal optical anisotropies of this material, which could be utilized for future optimization of detection schemes or optical instruments for diagnostic use.
If you are interested in the results of this study read the full paper published in Thin Solid Films Journal at Science Direct!