Home Science New painless and self-administred blood test could replace needles

New painless and self-administred blood test could replace needles

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A new device the size of a ping-pong ball promises to reduce pain and overall healthcare costs. This device is developed by Tasso Inc., a
US-based company run by graduates of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison.
You just need to hold this device against your skin for two minutes, and blood is sucked out via a
“slight vacuum” into an attached tube. The sample is then able to be mailed off or hand-delivered to the lab or GP.

“The
technology relies on the forces that govern the flow of tiny fluid
stream,” vice president and co-founder of Tasso Inc, Ben Casavant, said in a press release.
“At these scales, surface tension dominates over gravity, and that
keeps the blood in the channel no matter how you hold the device.”

“Rather
than puncturing a vein, when the user holds this device against his or
her skin, it creates a slight vacuum that immediately starts to pull
blood from many microscopic open channels called capillaries. 
During
the process, capillary action – the same physics that causes water to
wick up paper – beckons blood into an attached collection container. The
device can currently extract about 0.15 cubic centimetres of blood,
enough for most routine lab analyses, including cholesterol, infection,
cancer cells and blood sugar tests.”

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According to Stephanie Castillo at Medical Daily, it’s almost entirely painless process. The
company has been given a $3 million grant by the US Defenses Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help get it to the market, which
they predict should be by some time in 2016, if they get approval from
the US Food and Drug Administration later this year. 
The aim of the
DARPA funding is to figure out how to keep the blood at an optimal
temperature for the trip to the lab, which can be a bit tricky when you
can’t exactly put it on ice in the post.
“We see our specialty as people who need to test semi-frequently, or
infrequently, to monitor cancer or chronic infectious diseases,” said Casavant.
“Instead of buying a machine or expensive equipment, we ship you this
device, you put it on your arm for two minutes and send it back to the
lab.”

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