What started off as only an undergraduate biomedical engineering senior design project at Georgia Tech and Emory University has turned into a home diagnosis anemia test that will soon be mass produced and commercially available.
This new technology is able to generate an accurate anemia diagnosis from less than a drop of blood. The device uses a lance, similar to those used by diabetics, to generate a drop of blood. When the drop comes into contact with the device’s cap, the blood is drawn into the cap, a small vial, solely through capillary action. The cap then connects to the plastic testing kit which holds the chemical reagents. One specific component in the reagents is a reduction-oxidation reaction-sensitive dye that changes color based on the degree of anemia. Shaking the combined device mixes the blood and reagent to ultimately produce a certain color ranging from green-blue to red. A smart phone application can then be used to analyze the results to give accurate levels of hemoglobin in the blood.
The device was tested on 238 patients, which included kids from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and adults from the Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute. The study showed that the one-minute test produced consistent data and was similar to conventional anemia tests used in the laboratory. It has been predicted that this device will become widely available in pharmacies in 2016, and researchers are planning to apply this technology to certain diseases such as sickle cell anemia.
From the press release:
“Tyburski and Lam have teamed up with two other partners and worked with Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer to launch a startup company, Sanguina, to commercialize the test, which will be known as AnemoCheck™. The test ultimately will require approval from the FDA. The team also plans to study how the test may be applied to specific diseases, such as sickle cell anemia – which is common in Georgia.”
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