Bioinspired, Low-Cost Device for Minimally Invasive Blood Sampling
The majority of medical decisions depend on laboratory results and blood sampling is the most prevalent route for disease diagnosis and monitoring. The team proposes to develop a versatile sampling device for the collection of blood with minimal invasiveness, low manufacturing costs and sufficient volume retrieval for point-of-care and laboratory-based testing. The device aims to meet the needs of children, for whom traditional blood draws using needles can cause distress and to overcome testing challenges in LMICs.
The majority of medical decisions depend on laboratory results and blood sampling for lab analysis is the most prevalent route for disease diagnosis and monitoring. Although efficient and reliable, drawing blood with a syringe requires trained medical staff, and may also generate distress in young patients due to fear of needles, which could lead to treatment avoidance. Moreover, it has several drawbacks for the healthcare system, such as the risk of needle-stick injuries and the generation of biohazardous waste. Blood sampling can be especially challenging in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), where resources available for medical specialists, supplies and safe waste management are limited.
Alternative blood sampling approaches that enable easier and reliable blood testing at a low cost are highly needed. In this project, the team proposes to develop and validate a novel device for painless blood extraction that should enhance children’s acceptance of blood draws and provide increased access to reliable and cheap diagnostics in LMICs. The small, patient-friendly and bioinspired device can extract a small blood volume sufficient for testing within a few minutes. The device design consists of i) a minimally invasive sampling compartment to enhance children’s acceptance and reduce the risk of needlestick injuries and ii) a storage compartment loaded for blood collection. Being minimally invasive as well as versatile when combined with POC methods, this device could become a step-changing approach for children worldwide.
Researchers are developing a bioinspired and patient-friendly device for blood sampling that is minimally invasive and low cost, which may allow for point-of-care tests or laboratory analysis. Image: Nicole Zoratto
- The research is part of the Postdoctoral Excellence Programme.
- PEP fellow Dr Nicole Zoratto is hosted by BRCCH-funded Principal Investigator Prof Jean-Christophe Leroux (ETH Zurich).