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Smart Phone Technology Improves Sickle Cell Testing

October 26, 2015 by Andrea
Photo: Kaboompics

Photo: Kaboompics



There's almost nothing you can't do with a smartphone these days -- from meeting your soulmate to navigating the country to watching Netflix. And now, you can also conduct blood tests for sickle cell disease.

According to Clapway (a news site focusing on science, technology, and related topics), a research team headquartered at the University of Connecticut has used a 3D printer and the power of magnets to develop a plug-in attachment for the Samsung Galaxy S4 that, in combination with a custom Android app, can diagnose and monitor SCD. Clapway reports that this test is simpler and cheaper than typical methods and only a small sample of blood is needed for the device to do its thing.

Here's how it works:

     "The magnets have like poles facing each other. The salt solution is more susceptible to the resulting magnetic field than the red blood cells. This set up means that the blood cells levitate within the fluid as they pass through the tube between the magnets. This upward movement is captured by the smartphone camera. Since the affected red blood cells in the solution are denser than normal red blood cells, they respond differently to the magnetic field: the affected cells levitate less than unaffected cells."

Amazing, right? Read more about this new advancement here and here.




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