Leech-Inspired Blood Collection

Researchers in Zurich have developed a new blood-draw device aimed at addressing the shortcomings of traditional methods. Needle phobia can trigger adverse reactions like exhaustion and fainting, while conventional finger prick devices often yield imprecise measurements due to the small amount of blood they collect.

This innovation, which employs suction cups and microneedles, aims to alleviate both issues simultaneously. Inspired by the suction mechanism of leeches, the device gently draws blood without causing significant discomfort or requiring specialized training.

The design, featuring microneedles within a small suction cup, minimizes penetration into the skin when placed on the upper arm. According to Nicole Zoratto, a postdoc at ETH Zurich and the lead author of the project, this approach is not only effective but also cost-efficient.

Zoratto envisions the device being particularly beneficial in low-income regions like sub-Saharan Africa, where diseases such as malaria are diagnosed through blood samples. Its user-friendly nature and reduced risk of needle-related injuries make it a promising tool for widespread use.

However, before deployment, further optimization of the device’s material composition and thorough safety testing with a small group of subjects are essential. The research team is actively seeking additional funding partnerships to support these crucial steps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *