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“LEKA: effective, biodegradable and non-invasive test to detect cysticercosis parasite, the main neglected disease worldwide.”

  • Positive test and negative test according to the colorimetry of the ELISA test.

  • "LEKA, the non-invasive test that sheds light on neglected diseases"

    "LEKA, the non-invasive test that sheds light on neglected diseases"

  • LEKA test.

  • Material testing for visual prototype.

  • LEKA implementation simulation in rural health brigades in rural communities.

  • Firsts concept renders.

Do czego to służy

Cysticercosis is a deadly disease caused by consuming eggs of taenia-solium parasite for not having suitable hygiene measures. This test is capable of detecting the parasite in humans by taking a small sample of the patient’s feces, promoting timely detection.

Twoja inspiracja

This whole initiative started because of Leticia, the mother of one of my friends who sadly passed away from neurocysticercosis in 2021. Leticia was affected by this disease because of some of these factors: 1.- Need for timely diagnosis. 2.- Inefficient diagnosis methods. 3.- Lack of awareness about the disease. 4.- Lack of location of the parasite and when it’s contracted. Leticia and more than 50,000 (fifty thousand) people who lost their lives annually because of this disease are the reason for this project.

Jak to działa

LEKA is a biodegradable, non-invasive, and easily accessible test to detect taenia-solium parasite in humans. You only have to take a small sample of the patient’s feces with the head and wait a few minutes, the test will automatically indicate if you are positive or negative by means of a color change on the paper. This will be possible through a copro-antigen study based on ELISA, which, if the person is positive, will react to the more than 200,000 eggs expelled in the feces, qualitatively indicating the presence of the parasite. When color is carried out, a reaction is involved which causes the pH to change and the color change to take place. This molecular technique, such as ELISA or PSR, facilitates detection since they work with a minimal amount of sample for interpretation and reading.

Proces projektowania

The design process began by understanding the personal history of Leticia's family members, in order to have a more empathetic starting point, followed by interviews with experts such as biotechnologists, zootechnicians, and pharmaceutical professionals. We discover our current panorama: Lack of options to treat the main neglected diseases, which presents significant backwardness in research. The proposal was analyzed by experts, developing the viability, methods, and potential impact by creating a conceptual model and prototypes. The prototype development process began by examining the form of other types of tests available in the market, aimed at different diseases, considering their usage, chemical mechanisms, and materials. For the visual and material test prototypes, paper and cardboard were used. They were also digitally modeled and 3D printed using resin and PLA plastic. With this alternative, the aim is to develop an option of easy elaboration with methods currently used to promote the creation of this type of solution, making a difference in the treatment of neglected diseases. We know that are many, but with this type of product, it becomes a potential method for the detection of other mainly parasitic diseases. LEKA is currently in the "proof of concept" phase.

Jak to się różni

The creativity and Innovation of the project involve different areas: 1.- Optimization in the sampling process and the simplification of traditional copro-antigen analysis, which takes longer and requires a larger quantity of sample. 2.- This type of test does not require expensive extra laboratory equipment to give the result, allowing simple application in larger quantities. 3.- Its shape allows the collection of the sample faster and helps the user not get stained with it. Its materials (biodegradable plastic PHB) allow the test to be transported to any area without risk of breaking, decomposing, or expiring since it does not need refrigeration or some elaborate method to transport it. 4.- It provides privacy to the user and easy access to quick diagnoses. A test of this type for parasitic diseases does not currently exist on the market, making it a unique alternative in this area, creating a complete epidemiological study to attack the disease on time

Plany na przyszłość

LEKA aims to implement the following journey per year: Clinical validation to enter the market. / Searching for strategic alliances for production to begin implementation at a regional level. / Achieve a percentage of detection at least 40% within the country - Create a solid customer network, and seek expansion. Having a clear panorama of infected people and regions where it's present, it would be possible to have a complete epidemiological study to attack the disease on time. This will drastically reduce medical expenses to treat the disease and will improve the quality of life of 60,000 people in the rural sector each year in LATAM.


1.- Top 5 winner project of Social Innovation Competition / Impaction & Because International. 2.- Winner project in Social Skin Colombia / Fundación Bolivar Davivienda. 3.- Finalist in Innovators Under 35 LATAM / MIT Technology Review. 4.- Best conceptual project winner / National Mexican Design Awards “Diseña MX”.

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