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Rutgers researchers develop automated robotic device for faster blood testing

Rutgers researchers have created an automated blood drawing and testing device that provides rapid results.
A study describing the fully automated device is published online in the journal TECHNOLOGY.

“This device represents the holy grail in blood testing technology,” Martin L. Yarmush said in an article about the project. Yarmush is a BMES member and the senior author of the study and Paul and Mary Monroe Endowed Chair and distinguished professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

“Integrating miniaturized robotic and microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) systems, this technology combines the breadth and accuracy of traditional blood drawing and laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing,” he said in the article.

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, the article states.

So, a Rutgers biomedical engineering research team created a device that includes an imageguided robot for drawing blood from veins, a sample-handling module and a centrifugebased blood analyzer. Their device provides highly accurate results from a white blood cell test, using a blood-like fluid spiked with fluorescent microbeads.

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