Red blood cell transport mechanisms in polyester thread-based blood typing devices

Azadeh Nilghaz, David R. Ballerini, Liyun Guan, Lizi Li, Wei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A recently developed blood typing diagnostic based on a polyester thread substrate has shown great promise for use in medical emergencies and in impoverished regions. The device is easy to use and transport, while also being inexpensive, accurate, and rapid. This study used a fluorescent confocal microscope to delve deeper into how red blood cells were behaving within the polyester thread-based diagnostic at the cellular level, and how plasma separation could be made to visibly occur on the thread, making it possible to identify blood type in a single step. Red blood cells were stained and the plasma phase dyed with fluorescent compounds to enable them to be visualised under the confocal microscope at high magnification. The mechanisms uncovered were in surprising contrast with those found for a similar, paper-based method. Red blood cell aggregates did not flow over each other within the thread substrate as expected, but suffered from a restriction to their flow which resulted in the chromatographic separation of the RBCs from the liquid phase of the blood. It is hoped that these results will lead to the optimisation of the method to enable more accurate and sensitive detection, increasing the range of blood systems that can be detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1371
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Blood typing
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Diagnostic
  • Low-cost
  • Polyester thread

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