We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Automating Blood Smears Developed for Easier Malaria Diagnosis

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Feb 2022
Print article
Image: (a) 3D-rendered exploded view of autohaem smear showing the non-3D printed parts. (b) Photo of an autohaem smear showing the assembled device with the two microscope slides in their positions (Photo courtesy of Cambridge University)
Image: (a) 3D-rendered exploded view of autohaem smear showing the non-3D printed parts. (b) Photo of an autohaem smear showing the assembled device with the two microscope slides in their positions (Photo courtesy of Cambridge University)
Blood smears are used in diagnosis for a variety of hematological disorders, such as anemia and leukemia. They are also the preferred method of diagnosis of parasitic infections, such as malaria and filariasis in developing world laboratories.

The current “gold standard” for malaria diagnosis is by optical microscopy examination of blood smears. A thin film of the patients’ bloods is fixed onto a microscope slide and stained. The microscopists look at the smear, counting the parasites in various fields of view. These experts can establish the species of malaria and parasite density.

Bioengineers at Cambridge University (Cambridge, UK) collaborating with their colleagues in Tanzania and the UK created a series of devices, which they call “autohaem.” Autohaem devices aim at enabling even non-experts to produce consistent, high quality, thin film blood smears at low cost. The autohaem devices, solves this problem by automating the smearing process so every smear is correct and consistent. The devices come in two varieties, the autohaem smear and the autohaem smear+, the latter of which is fully automated with a motorized smearing mechanism. In tests, inexperienced technicians were able to use the device to produce expert-quality smears.

A key goal of the project was to make the devices accessible to as many people as possible, so the scientists designed their devices to be easy to build, using readily available or 3D-printed components. A pipeline for automated analysis of smear quality was presented and used for device optimization. Red Blood Cells (RBCs), at the typical hematocrit for malaria investigations, are used as the testing media. This pipeline will also be suitable for a more systematic analysis of blood smear preparation, for example, to help with training and evaluation of technicians.

Samuel McDermott, PhD, the senior author of the study, said, “Creating blood smears is a laborious, repetitive task that requires an expert level of skill and manual dexterity. By using automated blood smearing machines, such as autohaem devices, technicians will be able to increase their throughput while maintaining a high enough quality for diagnosis. In some countries, up to 81.5% of blood smears are prepared incorrectly. If a blood smear is prepared incorrectly, when examined under a microscope, the technician will struggle to make a correct diagnosis. Because these smears are often made in a rural clinic and sent to a regional facility for examination, any issues in the smear could cause days of delay.”

The authors concluded that they have developed and presented the autohaem range of devices for automated blood smearing. Autohaem smear is a mechanical device, and autohaem smear+ is an electro-mechanical device. The devices are designed to be sustainable and all the designs and assembly instructions are available under an open source license. The study was published on January 18, 2022, in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments.

Related Links:
Cambridge University

Gold Supplier
Auto Urinary Sediment Analyzer
EH-2030
New
Intact Brentuximab Vedotin “Sandwich” Test
EDI Intact Brentuximab Vedotin ELISA Kit
New
Electronic Pipette
Eppendorf Xplorer/ Eppendorf Xplorer plus
New
Automated Clinical Chemistry Analyzer
DRI-CHEM NX600

Print article

Channels

Microbiology

view channel
Image: Trichinella sp. found in muscle tissue (Photo courtesy of McGill University)

Laboratory Features of Trichinellosis and Eosinophilia Threshold Determined

Trichinella nativa is a nematode worm, one of the species of the genus Trichinella, found in arctic and subarctic regions. It is highly pathogenic and has a high resistance to freezing. It is encapsulated,... Read more

Industry

view channel
Image: With Cell IDx’s acquisition, Leica Biosystems will be moving its multiplexing menu forward (Photo courtesy of Leica Biosystems)

Leica Biosystems Acquires Cell IDx, Expanding Offerings in Multiplexed Tissue Profiling

Leica Biosystems, a technology leader in automated staining and brightfield and fluorescent imaging (Nussloch, Germany), has acquired Cell IDx, Inc. (San Diego, CA, USA), which provides multiplex staining... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.