Home pagePress monitoringA micro-lab on a chip detects blood type within minutes

A micro-lab on a chip detects blood type within minutes

Date: 13.7.2020 

Blood transfusion, if performed promptly, is a potentially life-saving intervention for someone losing a lot of blood. However, blood comes in several types, some of which are incompatible with others. Transfusing an incompatible blood type can severely harm a patient. It is, therefore, critical for medical staff to know a patient's blood type before they perform a transfusion.

Kredit: CC0 Public Domain.Yet, while the concept sounds straightforward, the equipment and techniques required are often very specialized. Tests, therefore, are non-portable, have high personnel cost, and can take over half an hour to yield results. This can prove problematic in several types of emergency situations.

Aiming to solve these problems, a team of scientists at Japan's Tokyo University of Science, led by Dr. Ken Yamamoto and Dr. Masahiro Motosuke, has developed a fully automated chip that can quickly and reliably determine a patient's blood type. In the words of Dr. Motosuke, he and his colleagues "have developed a compact and rapid blood-typing chip which also dilutes whole blood automatically."

The chip contains a micro-sized 'laboratory' with various compartments through which the blood sample travels in sequence and is processed until results are obtained. To start the process, a user simply inserts a small amount of blood, presses a button, and waits for the result.





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