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Outside the Lab Point of care testing, Technology and innovation, Hematology

Lifesaving, Blood-Typing Lab-on-a-Chip

In an emergency, do you know what type of blood you would need? Many don’t – and there often isn’t time to perform accurate blood typing, which requires specialized laboratory equipment and personnel. That’s why researchers from Tokyo University of Science have created a fully automated lab-on-a-chip that performs highly sensitive blood typing in just five minutes (1). The chip dilutes the blood, mixes it with air, and homogenizes it before introducing it to four reaction chambers: one each for A, B, and D antigens and a negative control. The user simply loads the blood, starts the chip, and reads the results by observing coagulation in the reaction chambers.

A lifesaver? Perhaps. Senior author Masahiro Motosuke said that the chip “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 (2).”

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  1. K Yamamoto et al., Biomicrofluidics, 14, 024111 (2020). PMID: 32549921.
  2. Tokyo University of Science (2020). Available at: bit.ly/2QlaZob.

About the Author

Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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