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Handheld Blood Gas Electrolyte Analyzer Advances Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Jul 2023
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Image: The i-Check handheld blood gas electrolyte analyzer (Photo courtesy of B&E)
Image: The i-Check handheld blood gas electrolyte analyzer (Photo courtesy of B&E)

A vital factor for patients in emergency and critical care settings is their rapidly changing physiological state, which can deteriorate quickly and necessitate immediate diagnosis and clinical decisions for improving patient outcomes. Point-of-care testing (POCT) is a significant advancement in critical care settings, designed to provide decentralized, patient-centered healthcare. Quick access to blood measurements, especially blood gases, and electrolytes, can lead to better clinical outcomes. Now, a new handheld blood gas electrolyte analyzer designed to meet the urgency of clinical decision provides prompt POCT and improves patient outcomes while reducing therapeutic turnaround time (TTAT) and shortening door-to-clinical-decision time.

The newly-launched i-Check handheld blood gas electrolyte analyzer from B&E Biotechnology Co. Ltd. (Yantai, China) adopts microfluidic and electrochemical detection technology. Its single-use cartridge includes a plastic substrate, a multi-biosensor array, a calibrator pouch, a sample injection port, and a waste chamber. Notably, the multi-biosensor array is produced by silk-screen printing. The printing ink materials used comprise only carbon, silver, and insulation, without any noble metal, which significantly lowers the production cost compared to other manufacturers. Furthermore, special production technology enables its long-term stability to last 12 months under refrigeration. The i-Check handheld blood gas electrolyte analyzer requires only 95 μL of blood to measure pH, PCO2, PO2, K, Na, iCa, Hct, etc. in just one minute.

Among other benefits, the cartridge can be used immediately after removal from the refrigerator and does not need to be brought up to room temperature due to the efficient heating effect of the attached carbon heating film. It can rapidly increase the temperature of the electrode and flow path and maintain them at 37℃ when paired with an IR temperature sensor. Each cartridge has its own standard solution (calibrator), facilitating a one-point calibration, and eliminating the need for an additional reagent package. Calibration before sample injection is performed to prevent the impact of blood cell precipitation on Hct testing. Each cartridge also contains a unique RFID chip for quality control, effectively avoiding erroneous results from using expired cartridges. In a correlation experiment with a desktop blood gas analyzer, the i-Check excelled in test performance with correlation coefficients R2 all above 0.973 (n=76).

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