STTR Phase I: Rapid Blood Typing with a Portable Medical Device

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Microdevice Engineering LLC
1401 Sugar Maple Lane
Houghton, MI 49931
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Research Institution

Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is the creation of a faster, more portable, affordable and reliable blood typing and red blood cell concentration test. This is important because trauma centers and hospitals rely extensively on blood donations provided by blood banks across the U.S. to save lives. There are currently 84 million blood typings per year in the U.S., with approximately 16 million donations annually. Processing costs approach $200 per pint of blood, so the ability to pre-screen donors by blood type and selectively direct the donation process (i.e. plasma, red cells) would result in significant savings and bolster our declining blood supply. This portable technology could also be translated to remote geographical locations for disaster relief applications. This blood analysis microdevice will enhance scientific and technological understanding by exploring the use of electric fields to identify cell differences. In addition, the potential initial economic impact is expected to be up to $12 million per year, which will contribute to the U.S. competitiveness in healthcare including trauma, blood therapies, and surgeries. The proposed project will play a key role in miniaturizing the bulky supporting power supply infrastructure currently surrounding microfluidic device operations. The proposed project will translate optical analysis of cell responses into a pattern algorithm that outputs the result via a user-friendly interface. Lastly, this project will combine two separate microfluidic devices into a single prototype interfacing with the portable power supply and algorithm to simultaneously discern blood type and hematocrit. This work advances scientific knowledge and will be published after securing proper IP. It is also a powerful alternative to expensive antigen/antibody molecular recognition reactions for medical diagnosis for future point of care diagnostic applications.