John Lewandowski

MIT
Low-cost, reusable, handheld, mechanical malaria diagnostic
Graduate Finalist

John Lewandowski is a master’s degree student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Malaria parasites create a unique metallic iron rod-like particle known as hemozoin. John’s invention aligns this biomarker using permanent magnets to periodically block the transmission of a laser light source through the blood sample in direct proportion to its parasite density. The resulting device is a low-cost, reusable, handheld, mechanical malaria diagnostic that would be the first mechanism to screen asymptomatic populations for malaria successfully.