A New Paper-Based Test Can Determine Your Blood Type in Just 30 Seconds

A New Paper-Based Test Can Determine Your Blood Type in Just 30 Seconds
H. Zhang et al, Science Translational Medicine 2017 The paper turns teal or brown, depending on whether the right combination of antigens and antibodies are present.

Our blood type is based on certain proteins present in our red blood cells. The blood type is tested via Blood typing method that tells the type of blood group. Knowing a patient’s blood type is critical before a transfusion. However, the current techniques are time-consume. They also require expensive equipment. To make it available at instant, researchers have proposed a new inexpensive paper-based method for determining your blood type.

Current newly developed paper-based method takes about 10 to 20 minutes to verify someone’s blood type using available methods. It actually depends on a special dye that shows up brown when mixed with whole blood. Once it is applied on a test strip that contains antibodies that can recognize blood types, the strip changes color. It shows teal if a blood group antigen is present in the sample and brown if not.

The creation is done by the scientists from the Third Military Medical University in China. Through this test, scientists are able to verify a patient’s blood type without using specialized equipment or training in just 30 seconds.

For testing purpose, researchers place a droplet in the center of a paper-based chip that holds anti-A antibodies to the left, and anti-B antibodies to the right. When it absorbs blood and moves through the paper membrane, it hits the regions of antibodies.

If the red blood cells clump, the plasma will cause the dye to turn teal.

According to scientists, the test could be very useful in war zones or other remote areas where there are no labs to test patient blood types.

REFERENCENew Scientist
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