An inexpensive thread-based system for simple and rapid blood grouping
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- Ballerini, D.R., Li, X. & Shen, W. Anal Bioanal Chem (2011) 399: 1869. doi:10.1007/s00216-010-4588-5
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This study investigates the use of thread as a flexible and low-cost substrate for the rapid grouping of blood. The use of a capillary substrate such as thread for blood grouping utilises the sensitivity of the flow resistance of large particles in narrow capillary channels to separate agglutinated red blood cells (RBCs) from plasma. Large and discrete particles formed in a continuous liquid phase do not provide capillary wicking driving force and fall behind the capillary wicking front, leading to their separation from the wicking liquid. The capillary substrate therefore provides a very promising but different mechanism for the separation of the agglutinated RBCs and the blood serum phase compared to most existing blood grouping methods. The principle of chromatographic separation is also exploited in this study via the use of suitable dyes to enhance the visual detection of the agglutinated RBCs and the serum phase; surprising and encouraging outcomes are obtained. Using a thread-based device, the ABO and Rh groups can be successfully determined with only 2 μL of whole blood from a pricked finger tip within 1 min and without pre-treatment of the blood sample. It is hoped that a new, inexpensive, rapid and simple method may provide an easy-to-use blood grouping platform well suited to those in developing or remote regions of the world.