The need to first zero in on a blood group can delay blood transfusions in emergency situations, and this in turn can prove fatal. Thus, to speed up the process, a team of scientists from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, has developed a lab-on-a-chip device that can not only tell the blood type within five minutes but allows medical staff to read the results through simple visual inspections.
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.
There are four major blood types?O, A, B, and AB. These types differ based on the presence or absence of structures called A antigens and B antigens on the surfaces of red blood cells. Blood can be further divided into positive and negative types based on the presence or absence of D antigens on red blood cells. Medical professionals usually tell a patient’s blood type with tests involving antibodies against the A and B antigens. When antibodies recognize the corresponding antigens, they bind to them, causing the blood cells to clump together and the blood to coagulate. Thus, specific antigen-antibody combinations tell us what the blood type of a blood sample is.
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. Inside the chip, the blood is first diluted with a saline solution and air bubbles are introduced to promote mixing. The diluted blood is transported to a homogenizer where further mixing, driven by more intensely moving bubbles, yields a uniform solution. Portions of the homogenized blood solution are introduced into four different detector chambers. Two chambers each contain reagents that can detect either A antigens or B antigens. A third chamber contains reagents that detect D antigens and a fourth chamber contains only saline solution, with no reagent, and serves as a negative control chamber in which the user should not observe any results. Antigen-antibody reaction will cause blood to coagulate, and by looking at which chambers have coagulated blood, the user can tell the blood type and whether the blood is positive or negative.
Further, the user does not require specialized optical equipment to read the results. The design of the detector chambers allows the easy identification of coagulated blood with the naked eye. The device is also highly sensitive and can even detect weak coagulation.
During testing, the research team screened blood samples from 10 donors and obtained accurate results for all 10 samples. The time needed to determine a single sample’s blood type was only five minutes.
Reflecting on the potential benefits of his team’s invention, Dr Motosuke remarks, “The advancement of simple and quick blood test chip technologies will lead to the simplification of medical care in emergency situations and will greatly reduce costs and the necessary labor on parts of medical staff.” Given the highly portable nature of the chip, Professor Motosuke also speculates that it could be used during aerial medical transport and in disaster response settings. This is a chip that has the potential to change the way emergency medical support is given.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Identifying blood type
- Overcoming the Treatment-Risk Paradox for Intensive Blood Pressure Careon April 30, 2021 at 7:14 am
New editorial published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology compares cardiovascular disease prevention treatments Patients most likely to benefit ...
- Algorithm scours electronic health records to reveal hidden kidney diseaseon April 28, 2021 at 2:27 pm
Diagnosing chronic kidney disease, which is often undetected until it causes irreversible damage, may soon become automated with a new algorithm that interprets data from electronic medical records.
- Roche extends blood test reach with sweeping new use claims in Type 2 diabetes, heart attack risk and moreon April 28, 2021 at 8:03 am
Roche aims to show you can still teach old biomarkers new tricks. The Big Pharma announced five additional uses for two of its mainstay heart tests, which could extend the diagnostics’ reach to ...
- Scientists identify blood cells most likely to be targeted by HIV during a real-life infectionon April 27, 2021 at 10:35 pm
In the 40-some years since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, scientists have learned a lot about the virus, the disease, and ways to treat it. But one thing they still don't completely ...
- Association of blood biomarkers and autoimmunity with immune related adverse events in patients with cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitorson April 27, 2021 at 1:10 pm
Patients with cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) develop immune related adverse events (irAEs), however biomarkers are lacking. We hypothesized that clinicopathologic and ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Identifying blood type
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- First live test of Full Duplex DOCSIS system-on-chip (SOC) deviceon April 23, 2021 at 3:11 am
Comcast has conducted the first-ever live lab test of a Full Duplex DOCSIS system-on-chip device. The test, part of the 10G industry initative, is expected to pave the way for operators to deliver ...
- Comcast takes another step toward '10G' with test of a multigigabit chipon April 22, 2021 at 7:17 am
If you can't get a fiber connection, DOCSIS 4.0 and '10G' could be your route to multigigabit speeds for uploads and downloads.
- Materials and Strategies for Lab-on-a-Chip — Biological Analysis, Cell-Material Interfaces and Fluidic Assembly of Nanostructureson April 2, 2021 at 2:05 am
The development of miniaturized systems for chemical and biochemical analysis has grown to the point where lab-on-a-chip devices are now important enabling tools in a diverse array of application ...
- Health Logic Interactive Inc., Acquires Next-Generation Lab-On-Chip Medical Diagnostic Technologyon March 31, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The Company plans to use their patent pending lab-on-chip technology to provide rapid results and facilitate the transfer of that data from the diagnostic device to the patient's smartphone. The ...
- Health Logic Interactive Inc., Acquires Next-Generation Lab-On-Chip Medical Diagnostic Technologyon March 31, 2021 at 8:48 am
The Company plans to use their patent pending lab-on-chip technology to provide rapid results and facilitate the transfer of that data from the diagnostic device to the patient's smartphone.