Microfluidic biochip for simple, fast, low-cost blood cell counts

A microfluidic biosensor that can count red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells electrically using just one drop of blood has been developed, replacing the standard hematology analyzer, a large, expensive lab device that requires trained technicians and physical sample transportation.
The new biosensor can electrically count the different types of blood cells based on their size and membrane properties. To count leukocyte and its differentials, red blood cells are selectively lysed and the remaining white blood cells were individually counted. Specific cells like neutrophils are counted using multi-frequency analysis, which probe the membrane properties of the cells.
The device, which will use credit-card-size disposable cartridges, requires minimal or no experience.  It is expected to find uses in hospitals at the bedside, private clinics, retail clinics, and the developing world.
Patients can perform the test at home in under 20 minutes and share the results with their primary care physicians electronically, reducing the cost of the test to less than $10, compared to $100 or more currently, says Professor Rashid Bashir, principal investigator.