Breaking News
March 21, 2019 - Mutations in noncoding genes could play big role in regulating cancer, study finds
March 21, 2019 - A medical student’s thoughts on Match Day
March 21, 2019 - Are eggs good or bad for you?
March 21, 2019 - New analysis reveals precision oncology insights for colorectal cancer
March 21, 2019 - Pollutants appear to weaken immune system and increase pathogen virulence
March 21, 2019 - Researchers develop and validate scale for rating severity of mononucleosis
March 21, 2019 - Scientists identify generation of key immune response in mice on introducing solid food
March 21, 2019 - New nanomaterial could restore internal structure of damaged bones
March 21, 2019 - Selective destruction of prostate tumor as effective as complete prostate removal
March 21, 2019 - 2011 to 2015 Saw Increase in Psychiatric ED Visits for Youth
March 21, 2019 - Tapeworm drug targets common vulnerability in tumor cells
March 21, 2019 - Off the beaten path for global health residency
March 21, 2019 - European Parliament’s report calls on EU to develop policies to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals
March 21, 2019 - Women with undiagnosed diabetes in pregnancy more likely to experience stillbirths
March 21, 2019 - Fish consumption can help prevent asthma, study reveals
March 21, 2019 - Royal Holloway professors to lead new to research into curing Neurofibromatosis type 1
March 21, 2019 - NSF offers grant to improve treatment approaches for pelvic organ prolapse
March 21, 2019 - Your Apple Watch Might Help Spot a Dangerous Irregular Heartbeat
March 21, 2019 - Research team uncovers critical new clues about what goes awry in autistic brains
March 21, 2019 - From March Madness to medicine with help from mentors
March 21, 2019 - Mental health disorders among young adults may be on the increase
March 21, 2019 - New study examines smarter automatic defibrillator
March 21, 2019 - UC Riverside research shows how natural selection favors cheaters
March 21, 2019 - Mother’s diet during pregnancy can impact lung-specific genes of her offspring
March 21, 2019 - AeroForm Tissue Expanders makes breast reconstruction after mastectomy more comfortable
March 21, 2019 - New project focuses on creating more responsive, intuitive prosthetics
March 21, 2019 - New case study describes adolescent patient with rapid-onset schizophrenia and Bartonella infection
March 21, 2019 - Umass Amherst food scientist honored with 2019 Young Scientist Research Award
March 21, 2019 - Smell of skin could lead to early diagnosis for Parkinson’s
March 21, 2019 - Difference in brain connectivity may explain autism spectrum disorder
March 21, 2019 - Untangling the microbiome — with statistics
March 21, 2019 - Human microbiome metabolites enhance colon injury by enterohemorrhagic E. coli, study shows
March 21, 2019 - Written media can improve citizens’ understanding of palliative care
March 21, 2019 - New research aims to find how asthma symptoms are aggravated
March 21, 2019 - New $9.7 million NIH grant project seeks to improve hearing restoration
March 21, 2019 - Researchers measure brain metabolite levels in people with mild memory problems
March 21, 2019 - FDA approves first drug for treatment of postpartum depression in adult women
March 20, 2019 - Gene editing and designer babies experiments face global moratorium
March 20, 2019 - Major scientific study of wound care dressings wins ‘Best Clinical or Preclinical Research Award’
March 20, 2019 - Biohaven Enrolls First Patient In Phase 3 Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Trial Of Troriluzole
March 20, 2019 - Big data study identifies drugs that increase risk of psychosis in youth with ADHD
March 20, 2019 - Mystery novel and dream spur key scientific insight into heart defect | News Center
March 20, 2019 - Study measures impact of policies designed to reduce air pollution in two mega-cities
March 20, 2019 - Mild sleep apnea during pregnancy changes sugar levels and may affect infant growth patterns
March 20, 2019 - SSB and Novasep collaborate to develop new membrane chromatography systems
March 20, 2019 - Leaky valve repair improves quality of life in heart failure patients
March 20, 2019 - Diattenuation Imaging offers structural information of difficult to access brain regions
March 20, 2019 - Early sports specialization linked to increased injury rates during athletic career
March 20, 2019 - Study brings clarity about milk intake for children with Duarte galactosemia
March 20, 2019 - Allergan Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application for Ubrogepant for the Acute Treatment of Migraine
March 20, 2019 - Maternal smoking during pregnancy increases risk of ADHD among offspring up to three-fold
March 20, 2019 - Pioneering pediatric kidney transplant surgeon Oscar Salvatierra dies at 83 | News Center
March 20, 2019 - F.D.A. Approves First Drug for Postpartum Depression
March 20, 2019 - TB remains a major public health challenge in the European region
March 20, 2019 - Most pills contain common allergens, warn experts
March 20, 2019 - Researchers discover previously unknown mechanism by which cells can sense oxygen
March 20, 2019 - World’s leading source of data on diagnosis, treatments for aortic dissection
March 20, 2019 - Breast cancer relapse predictor may soon be a reality
March 20, 2019 - Researchers identify origin of chronic pain in humans
March 20, 2019 - Two-drug combinations containing calcium channel blocker significantly lowers BP
March 20, 2019 - King’s scientists to monitor air quality exposure of 250 children
March 20, 2019 - Active substance from plant could turn into a ray of hope against eye tumors
March 20, 2019 - Preventative cardioverter defibrillator implantation is of little benefit to kidney dialysis patients
March 20, 2019 - New method based on neurofeedback may reduce anxiety
March 20, 2019 - Study explores whether alcohol consumption can have an effect on arthritis
March 20, 2019 - Merck to collaborate with GenScript for plasmid and virus manufacturing in China
March 20, 2019 - FDA Approves Zulresso (brexanolone) for the Treatment of Postpartum Depression
March 20, 2019 - Study examines long-term opioid use in patients with severe osteoarthritis
March 20, 2019 - Retired Stanford professor Edward Rubenstein, pioneer in intensive care medicine, dies at 94 | News Center
March 20, 2019 - Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center to Join Columbia University
March 20, 2019 - Call for halt to human gene editing and designer babies experiments
March 20, 2019 - Study illuminates how hot spots of genetic variation evolved in the human genome
March 20, 2019 - Roundworm study suggests alternatives for treatment of schizophrenia
March 20, 2019 - Sphingotec reports new applications of bio-ADM at 39th ISICEM
March 20, 2019 - Preventing falls through free community-based screenings for older adults
March 20, 2019 - AAOS: Supplement Use Low in Patients With Osteoporosis, Hip Fracture
March 20, 2019 - Does intensive blood pressure control reduce dementia?
March 20, 2019 - Nut consumption could be key to better cognitive health in older people
March 20, 2019 - Drinking hot tea associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer
March 20, 2019 - Androgen receptor plays vital role in regulating multiple mitochondrial processes
Researchers developing affordable, compact white blood cell counter

Researchers developing affordable, compact white blood cell counter

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A thin copper wire wrapped around a channel slightly thicker than a strand of hair could be the key to manufacturing a compact electronic device capable of counting white blood cells from the comfort of one’s home, a Kennesaw State University researcher says.

Hoseon Lee, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, and his team of six students have spent the past year researching more efficient ways for patients receiving chemotherapy to monitor their white blood cell count without the frequent, and sometimes costly, visits to the hospital. Cancer treatments often lead to lower white blood cell counts and an increased risk for infection, therefore requiring regular testing to measure levels, according to the Mayo Clinic.

To monitor white blood cell levels, many clinics currently use a method called flow cytometry, Lee said. The process works by dying cells a fluorescent color which are then illuminated by a laser. As the dyed cells pass through a narrow channel, the scattered light and florescence emitted from the cells are detected, indicating an object is there. While the technique can provide medical providers many levels of insight into their patient’s health, the equipment is bulky and expensive, limiting its portability.

“Flow cytometry equipment can perform lots of different functions: it can sort the cells, count them and do other things that aren’t entirely necessary for every patient.,” Lee said. “If we can focus on one thing – counting cells – we can make something smaller and more affordable for both the patient and the provider.”

In order to decrease the weight and size of their device, Lee and his students have created a prototype that can operate on two AAA batteries rather than a power outlet. It uses a coil wrapped around channel just 100 microns wide, which is large enough for two to three blood cells to pass through at a time. The channel is suspended in a small block of silicone gel, and the coil leads to a circuit board built by electrical engineering students to receive input as cells pass through the channel. While most flow cytometry machinery require a table to rest on, the device Lee and his students have built could potentially fit in one hand.

To count cells, the team attaches a magnetic nanoparticle to white blood cells by mixing the two in a vial. As magnetized cells pass through the coil, a flux in voltage is detected and logged on the circuit board. Each spike in voltage signifies a cell passing through the coil, providing a readout of white blood cell levels. Though the team is still perfecting its overall design, Lee said it has filed for a patent and hopes to publish its findings in a peer reviewed journal.

The research is somewhat personal, Lee said. His sister has a low white blood cell count that keeps her on a strict diet and requires a lot of rest. She lives in Seoul, South Korea, where traffic impedes her ability to visit the hospital for regular testing.

“She hates making that trip,” Lee said. “It pushed me to think of ways I could help her receive the same kind of monitoring without leaving her home.”

Lee also saw the research as a way to provide his students with a valuable learning opportunity. Joining him in developing the device are graduate student Achevi Kuri and undergraduates Michael Nolan, Nicholas Foster, Joseph Lee, Danyal Haider and Fang-Chen Lin.

“I find that having undergraduates involved in this type of research can enrich their overall learning experience, and they’ve proven to be amazing,” Lee said. “We had an open-ended problem. We didn’t know how we were going to get there, but we knew what the end goal was.”

Lin, a senior electrical engineering major, said the research has exposed him to a potential career in developing medical equipment. His role on the team includes 3D printing a device capable of manufacturing the copper coils.

“I’ve had experience working on circuits, but I’ve never thought about using those skills on a medical device,” he said. “The life cycle for medical equipment is fairly long, and I think there are plenty of ways we can advance the technology using these techniques.”

Kuri, who came to Kennesaw State after learning about the research opportunity, said the experience has been invaluable. He was responsible for exploring vacuum pumps capable of pulling fluids through the device’s narrow channels.

“When you’re able to put your hands on something – to build it from scratch and manipulate it as you go – that’s what enhances your learning experience,” he said. “Even as a graduate student, I’m not going to know everything. We’re coming from all kinds of backgrounds and we all learn from each other along the way.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles