Breaking News
April 21, 2018 - Academia and high tech companies join forces to increase production capacity for microfluidic systems
April 21, 2018 - Developing cooking skills as young adult may have long-term health benefits
April 21, 2018 - Study compares survival outcomes of different drugs for type 2 diabetes
April 21, 2018 - More Than 40 Percent of Americans Breathe Dirty Air: Report
April 21, 2018 - Obstructive sleep apnea – Genetics Home Reference
April 21, 2018 - More evidence shows exposure to traffic and outdoor air pollution increases risk of asthma
April 21, 2018 - Novel gold nanoparticle technology could guide cancer treatment in real-time
April 21, 2018 - News coverage of Ebola impacted public’s perception on disease and survivors
April 21, 2018 - S.Africa’s DIY battle against HIV
April 21, 2018 - Children with autism have gastrointestinal and immune system deregulation, research finds
April 21, 2018 - Human brain processes sight and sound in the same way, shows study
April 21, 2018 - Evolutionary history of tumor helps predict severity of prostate cancer
April 21, 2018 - Pepper plant metabolizes antibiotic in personal care products
April 21, 2018 - Tradeshow Talks with Integra
April 21, 2018 - EPFL becomes part of Chan Zuckerberg’s project to develop Human Cell Atlas
April 21, 2018 - Pfizer Announces Positive Topline Results From Phase 3 ATTR-ACT Study Of Tafamidis In Patients With Transthyretin Cardiomyopathy
April 21, 2018 - Breaking through the HIV vaccine ‘logjam’
April 21, 2018 - IntelliCyt introduces new QSol buffer to enable robust, consistent sampling
April 21, 2018 - Scientists publish comprehensive lineage tree of whole adult animal in Science journal
April 21, 2018 - Innovative method based on FluidFM technology could revolutionize biological research
April 21, 2018 - Americans world’s biggest TV addicts, watching four hours a day
April 21, 2018 - Investigational drug may help increase protein levels in babies with spinal muscular atrophy
April 21, 2018 - Study shows distinctions between age groups in predicting and responding to stress at home
April 21, 2018 - Aziyo Biologics, BIOTRONIK enter into US co-distribution agreement
April 21, 2018 - Opiate Use Linked to Early Mortality in IBD Patients
April 21, 2018 - Online ads help pregnant smokers quit
April 21, 2018 - Opioid pain medications may not be safe for hemodialysis patients
April 21, 2018 - Rare variants in non-coding DNA inherited from parents heighten autism risk
April 21, 2018 - A needleless glucose monitor for diabetes patients
April 21, 2018 - BD introduces new informatics and automation solutions for clinical laboratories
April 21, 2018 - Turn Chores Into a Fitness Routine
April 21, 2018 - DNA methylation plays key role in stem cell differentiation
April 21, 2018 - Scientists find link between soil metals and cancer mortality
April 21, 2018 - Experts discuss implications of low calcium intake in global population
April 21, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions to display Pharos V8 Laser PCR instrument at Analytica trade fair
April 21, 2018 - People with vitamin D deficiency may be at greater risk of diabetes
April 21, 2018 - Study findings could open new possibilities for treating cancer with adenovirus
April 21, 2018 - People who use medical marijuana have higher rates of prescription drug use, study finds
April 21, 2018 - Study debunks ‘myth’ that strenuous exercise dampens immunity
April 21, 2018 - FDA approves marijuana based medication for epilepsy treatment
April 21, 2018 - Researchers find novel genes for longevity in mammals
April 21, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions and project partners launch new research project to develop TB diagnostic platform for POC applications
April 21, 2018 - $2 million funding boosts progress of UAB biomedical startup
April 21, 2018 - Scientists identify gene responsible for evolution of recombination rates
April 21, 2018 - UConn researchers develop new composite for healing broken load-bearing bones
April 21, 2018 - Study examines how higher-order gene combinations help maintain normal cell physiology
April 21, 2018 - Study challenges use of whole-brain radiation for small-cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases
April 21, 2018 - Researchers discover blood biomarkers that may help detect, confirm mild traumatic brain injury
April 21, 2018 - People who become physically active after heart attack more likely to live longer, shows research
April 21, 2018 - CPRIT awards $2 million grant to push forward breast cancer research in West Texas
April 21, 2018 - Unhealthy diet damages the development of immature fat cells, study shows
April 21, 2018 - Consumption of protein supplements with meals may provide better weight control
April 21, 2018 - 4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory
April 21, 2018 - How did gonorrhea become a drug-resistant superbug?
April 21, 2018 - DePuy Synthes announces clinical results related to use of CORAIL Hip System Femoral Stems
April 21, 2018 - New initiative launched to support goals of Human Cell Atlas
April 20, 2018 - Teen patient gets a new lease on life
April 20, 2018 - Cancer Australia launches new framework to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients
April 20, 2018 - ‘Gut-on-a-chip’ model recreates intestinal matrix critical for nutrient absorption
April 20, 2018 - Researchers develop new drug-testing platform for epilepsy
April 20, 2018 - FDA Alert: NxtGen Botanicals Maeng Da Kratom by NGB Corp.: Recall
April 20, 2018 - Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease type 1 – Genetics Home Reference
April 20, 2018 - Tick-borne diseases reach epidemic levels, panel says
April 20, 2018 - A potential “male pill” without side effects
April 20, 2018 - Researchers discover new information related to rare form of leukemia
April 20, 2018 - Researchers find crucial links between dopamine and avoidance behavior
April 20, 2018 - UGA scientist creates system for efficient detection of foodborne pathogens
April 20, 2018 - Social Support of Autonomy Tied to Better Glycemic Control in DM
April 20, 2018 - Study reports use of nutritional ketosis with mobile app intervention could reverse Type 2 diabetes
April 20, 2018 - New microscopy techniques allow quasi-biochemical studies on living T cells
April 20, 2018 - Study shows connection between muscular strength and brain health
April 20, 2018 - Ecolab introduces Life Sciences cleanroom program in North America
April 20, 2018 - Normal weight people with fat belly may have more chance of heart problems
April 20, 2018 - Male fruit flies like sex and alcohol
April 20, 2018 - Meditation could help reduce anxiety levels and some heart health risk factors
April 20, 2018 - Improving job prospects unlikely to control opioid epidemic
April 20, 2018 - Skin Sensor Might Someday Track Alcoholics’ Booze Intake
April 20, 2018 - The relevance of GABA for diabetes highlighted in two new studies
April 20, 2018 - Novel method enables fast and noninvasive assessment of tumor status
April 20, 2018 - IU psychologist receives NIH grant to study earliest phases of language learning in children
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