Diagnostic blood testing is the most commonly performed clinical procedure in the world, and it influences most of the medical decisions made in hospitals and laboratories. But the success rate of manually drawing blood samples depends on clinicians’ skill and patient physiology, and nearly all test results come from centralized labs that handle large numbers of samples and use labor-intensive analytical techniques.
A device was developed that includes an image-guided robot for drawing blood from veins, a sample-handling module, and a centrifuge-based blood analyzer. The device provides highly accurate results from a white blood cell test using a blood-like fluid spiked with fluorescent microbeads. The testing used artificial arms with plastic tubes that served as blood vessels. The device could provide rapid test results at bedsides or in ambulances, emergency rooms, clinics, and doctors’ offices.
The automated blood drawing and testing device integrates miniaturized robotic and microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) systems, combining the breadth and accuracy of traditional blood drawing and laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing.
The modular and expandable device can be extended to incorporate a broader panel of tests in the future.