A new function for your cell-phone: analysing blood at point of care

Posted on behalf of Loes Segerink, Lab on a Chip web writer

Today, calling is not the only function of the cell-phone, but in some cases just a nice side function. A new function developed by Aydogan Ozcan and co-workers is the ability to perform a rapid blood analysis using your cell phone.

In a previous article the group at University of California, Los Angeles, USA, showed that a cell-phone with some add-on components can be used to test for the presence of peanuts in cookies1. In this new article, a module is demonstrated which can be used to measure characteristics of blood. Three variables which can be tested with their system are the haemoglobin content and white and red blood cell concentrations.

After connecting a base attachment to the cell phone (in this case an Android phone), three different add-on components can then be attached. Each component consists of a lens, light source and chamber for the sample. For the white blood cell count, the cells are first fluorescently labelled and placed in a chamber with known volume. Subsequently the sample is excited and the fluorescence is measured in the perpendicular direction. In case of the red blood cell count, unlabelled cells in a specific volume are optically detected using bright field illumination. For the last application, the measurement of the haemoglobin content, the absorbance of the lysed blood sample is determined, which is directly related to the concentration of haemoglobin. The user-friendly phone app allows you to choose one of the three analyses and input parameters, such as the sample dilution factor. It subsequently processes the captured images to generate the test results, which can be uploaded to a database or sent on to clinicians

Although some sample pre-processing is necessary, the blood analysis will take about 10 seconds for each image taken. The results of the cell phone module are in good agreement with a standard test, thereby making it applicable for blood analysis at point of care.

References

1. Ahmet F. Coskun, Justin Wong, Delaram Khodadadi et alA personalized food allergen testing platform on a cellphone. Lab Chip, 2013, 13, 636–640

Cost-effective and rapid blood analysis on a cell-phone
Hongying Zhu, Ikbal Sencan, Justin Wong, Stoyan Dimitrov, Derek Tseng, Keita Nagashima and Aydogan Ozcan  
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC41408F

Loes Segerink is a Post-Doctoral researcher in the BIOS Lab on a Chip group, University of Twente, The Netherlands

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