Portable, Electrical Impedance-Based Blood Testing Device for Diagnosis and Monitoring Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell disease is a genetic disorder that affects proteins in the blood called hemoglobin. Onset of the disease occurs during childhood and is associated with infections, chronic pain, and anemia that often requires hospitalization. It afflicts more than 100,000 people in the United States with hospitalization costs exceeding $1.1 billion annually. Currently, there are FDA-approved therapeutic treatments available including Hydroxurea and L-glutamine. However, only bone marrow transplants are available to cure this disease, which is restricted to young patients. Standard diagnosis of sickle cell disease involves complex assays performed by commercial diagnostic laboratories. There is currently a lack of a field sensor for patients to monitor their blood activities.

The technology developed is a novel finger prick diagnosis and monitoring platform enabling quick, accurate, and inexpensive diagnosis of sickle cell disease. The technology can work with small sample volumes acquired via a finger prick. A prototype of the device has been developed and has analyzed blood samples from multiple sickle cell patients. The results were then compared to a benchtop impedance measurement equipment. Data demonstrates a similar impedance curve indicating the technology can accurately obtain similar data to commercial products. The device is portable and comprised of readily available and inexpensive modules. It can provide diagnosis in a matter of minutes rather than days compared to commercial laboratories.