Advances in the detection and diagnosis of tuberculosis using optical-based devices

Sipho H. Chauke, Sinegugu Nzuza, Saturnin Ombinda-Lemboumba, Heidi Abrahamse, Felix S. Dube, Patience Mthunzi-Kufa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is highly contagious and can lead to severe health complications if left untreated. This review article discusses the importance of early detection and treatment and its global incidence and epidemiology, emphasizing its impact on vulnerable populations and its role as a major cause of death worldwide. Furthermore, it highlights the challenges faced with diagnosing TB. To overcome these challenges, point-of-care devices have emerged as promising tools for rapid and accurate TB detection. These include devices such as nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), lateral flow assays (LFAs), and microfluidic-based assays, which offer advantages such as rapid results, portability, and the ability to detect drug-resistant strains. Optical-based devices, such as photonic micro-ring sensors, silicon platform-based sensors, plasmonic-based platforms, microfluidics, and smartphone imaging, are some of the highlighted optical-based devices with the potential to detect TB. These devices can detect TB in sputum samples with high sensitivity and specificity. Optical-based diagnostic devices have the potential to offer the advantages of detecting low concentrations of target molecules and being adaptable to detect multiple targets simultaneously. Using these devices in a clinical setting makes them suitable for their application in improving access to diagnostic testing that enables earlier detection and treatment of TB. Furthermore, these devices would improve TB's global health issue, which requires comprehensive research, prevention, and treatment efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103906
JournalPhotodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Detection
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Optical-based devices
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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