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At the mere mention of having to have a blood test, some people feel faint. This is due to the fact that they cannot stand the sight of needles. However, this could be a thing of the past at a company in the US called Tasso Inc have come up with sampling device that does away with the needles. The HemoLink blood sampler can be used by the patient in their own home and the device works as simply as putting it against the skin on the arm for a couple of minutes.
[Image Source: Tasso Inc.]
The background for HemoLink goes back to research in microfluidics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scientists here observed tumor cells circulating, immune cells and they had visions of a medical device which was the beginning of Tasso Inc. The company has just got funding to the tune of US$3 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, otherwise known as DARPA.
The HemoLink sampling device is a low cost and disposable device made from 6 injections molded parts in plastic. Inside the unit is a vacuum and this allows small samples of blood to be taken from small open channels in the tube thanks to capillary action. The device is able to draw about 0.15 cubic centimeters of blood and this is adequate for the testing of infections, blood sugar, cancer cells and checking cholesterol levels, among other things. The device is going to be targeted at those who need blood samples to be taken on a regular occurrence so that they can take their own blood samples at home.
Tasso Inc will apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval and they hope to bring it to the market this year.