Nanocellulose hydrogel for blood typing tests

Rodrigo Curvello, Llyza Mendoza, Heather McLiesh, Jim Manolios, Rico F. Tabor, Gil Garnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The gel test is the most prevalent method for the forward and reverse blood typing tests. It relies on the controlled centrifugation of red blood cells (RBCs) and antibodies through a gel column. This noncontinuous matrix is currently based on microbeads that often lack sensitivity. For the first time, nanocellulose hydrogel is demonstrated as a sustainable and reliable medium for gel-based blood typing diagnostics. Gels with a minimum of 0.3 wt % TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (0.92 mmol/g of carboxyl content) separate agglutinated and individual RBCs in the forward test. The addition of glycine is able to balance the osmotic pressure and reduce hemolysis to 5%, while retaining the electrostatic repulsion responsible for the gel network structure and its rheological properties. For the reverse typing, cellulose nanofibers are chemically cross-linked with hexamethylenediamine (HMDA), increasing the gel yield point 8-fold. Sodium chloride is added to achieve the osmolality found in the human plasma and limit cell lysis to 15%, without affecting the gel colloidal stability. Nanocellulose hydrogel constitutes a performant, low cost, and green soft material, providing clear and well-defined results for both blood grouping tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2355-2364
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2019


  • blood typing
  • gel test
  • hydrogel
  • nanocellulose
  • red blood cells

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