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Researchers Develop Robotic Device for Faster Blood Testing

Researchers from Rutgers University have developed an automated blood drawing and testing device that could speed hospital work and enhance health care.

A blood test is the most common method used worldwide to diagnose various diseases. Majority of medical decisions to tackle these diseases is depend on the blood sample. However, the success rate of the test relies on the clinical skill of those who analyze the samples and the patient psychology. Moreover these tests come from centralized labs that handle a huge number of samples and require intensive labor.

Researchers from Rutgers University devised an automated technique to draw and test blood in lesser time. The device promises to deliver rapid results of the blood test and eventually facilitate the workflow in hospitals and other health care institutions. The research led by Martin Yarmush, a distinguished professor of Biomedical Engineering, designed an image guided robot for drawing blood samples from veins. The robot was equipped with a sample handling module and a centrifuge-based blood analyzer. The robot provided precise results from white blood cells (WBCs) test, using a blood-like fluid spiked with fluorescent microbeads. The artificial arms of the device with plastic tubes served as vessels to store blood. Rapid and accurate results were provided at bedsides or in ambulances, emergency rooms, clinics and doctors’ offices. The study was published online in the journal Technology on June 13, 2018.

The team focused on a modular and expandable design of the device. Its relatively simple chip design makes it convenient to consolidate a broader panel of tests in the future. An integration of miniature robotic and microfluidic systems, the device combines the breadth and accuracy of traditional blood drawing and laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing.