Researchers from LeukoDx, a company that develops cell based diagnostic technology, have developed a prototype model of white blood cell counter, which requires minimal quantity of blood.
Currently available WBC counters are huge in size and require large blood samples. As most often, differential counts are done manually it takes longer time to get the results.
The new model, which is the size of briefcase, requires only 5µL of blood and the results are out in few minutes.
The device consists of 50-micrometer-long transparent channel made out of a silicone material with a cross section of only 32 micrometers by 28 micrometers. The small dimensions make sure that only one white blood cell at a time flows through the detection region.
The stained blood sample in the detection region is illuminated with a laser, causing it to fluoresce. The resulting emission is then split by a mirror into two beams, representing the green and red fluorescence. The intensity of the emissions for each detected cell is used to determine the differential white blood cell counts.
The device can accurately determine the counts of four common white blood cells, while the rare basophil granulocytes are detected at high levels.