Research press release


Scientific Reports

Biotechnology: A mobile sickle cell tester



今回、Savas Tasogluたちは、“Sickle Cell Tester(鎌状赤血球検査器)”というスマートフォンに接続できる軽量の小型アタッチメントを開発し、3Dプリンターで製作した。Sickle Cell Testerは、磁気浮上技術を利用した機器で、光学レンズとスマートフォンのカメラを使って、試料中の赤血球を解析する。そして特別に開発されたアプリケーションによって赤血球の分布が自動的に解析され、鎌状赤血球貧血の存否が判定される。

Sickle Cell Testerの検証研究では、鎌状赤血球貧血と臨床的に診断された患者と対照患者だけが対象となり、鎌状赤血球形質(ヘテロ接合)を保有する患者は対象となっていなかった点をTasogluたちは指摘している。この磁気浮上技術を利用した機器によって鎌状赤血球保有者の試料と鎌状赤血球貧血患者の試料を区別できるかどうかを確かめるには、さらなる検証が必要とされる。

A smartphone attachment and associated app which can be used as a diagnostic test for sickle cell anaemia are presented in Scientific Reports this week.

Sickle cell anaemia is a hereditary disease caused by a mutation which gives rise to an abnormal form of haemoglobin in red blood cells. The condition, which affects approximately 25% of people living in central and western Africa, can inhibit blood flow, leading to pain, organ damage and an increased risk of stroke. However, confirmatory testing tends to be expensive and requires specialized equipment and training.

Savas Tasoglu and colleagues developed a lightweight and compact 3D printed attachment, which can be fixed to a smartphone, called the Sickle Cell Tester. Using a technique called magnetic levitation, the device uses an optical lens and the smartphone’s camera to analyse red blood cells in a sample. A custom-developed application then automatically analyses the red blood cell distribution to identify the presence of sickle cell anaemia.

The authors note that validation studies of the tester involved patients who had been clinically diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia and control patients. Patients who are carriers of the sickle cell trait (heterozygous) were not included in these studies. Further tests are required to determine if the magnetic levitation platform can distinguish between samples from carriers and those with sickle cell anaemia.

doi: 10.1038/srep15022


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