Needle-Free Blood Test

Though the pain they cause is minor and fleeting, a lot of people still find something pretty unsettling about needles. When it comes to conducting a routine blood test, US-based company Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely. Its ping pong ball-sized HemoLink blood sampler can be operated by the patient at home, and needs only to be placed against the skin of the arm or abdomen for two minutes to do its job.

HemoLink is designed as a low-cost, disposable device made from as few as six injection-molded plastic parts. Inside is a vacuum, which enables a small sample of blood to be drawn from tiny open channels into a small tube through a process known as capillary action. This process is made possible by forces that dictate the flow of tiny fluid streams, even against gravity.

"At these scales, surface tension dominates over gravity, and that keeps the blood in the channel no matter how you hold the device," says Tasso Inc.'s vice president and co-founder Ben Casavant.

The device can draw around 0.15 cubic centimeters of blood, which is enough to test for things like cholesterol, infections, cancer cells and blood sugar, before being mailed off to a lab for analysis. The company says that its target market will be people who need blood samples to be taken regularly, but not constantly, with the device being so simple to use that patients can take their own blood samples.

Source: gizmag.comAdded: 10 July 2015

Tags: healthcare