Diagnostics for low-resource settings need to be foremost inexpensive, but also accurate, reliable, rugged and suited to
the contexts of the developing world. Diagnostics for global health, based on minimally-instrumented, microfluidicsbased
platforms employing low-cost disposables, has become a very active research area recently-thanks, in part, to
new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other sources. This has
led to a number of interesting prototype devices that are now in advanced development or clinical validation. These
devices include disposables and instruments that perform multiplexed PCR-based assays for enteric, febrile, and vaginal
diseases, as well as immunoassays for diseases such as malaria, HIV, and various sexually transmitted diseases. More
recently, instrument-free diagnostic disposables based on isothermal nucleic-acid amplification have been developed.
Regardless of platform, however, the search for truly low-cost manufacturing methods that would enable affordable
systems (at volume, in the appropriate context) remains a significant challenge. Here we give an overview of existing
platform development efforts, present some original research in this area at PATH, and reiterate a call to action for more.