Biomedical Instrumentation

Volume Level Detection of Medical Samples in Opaque Test Tubes

An increasing number of biotechnology companies use automated testing facilities to test liquid medical samples in tubes. In order to perform these tests safely and reliably, it is necessary to verify the minimum required and maximum allowable volume levels without removing the cap of the tube. more>>

Volume Measurement of Medical Samples in Opaque Test Tubes

ARUP Laboratories is a large reference laboratory performing specialized testing on patient specimens for hospitals and other reference labs. As a service to its clients and to meet several other business needs, ARUP retains specimens after testing is completed for periods ranging from two weeks up to one year. The retained specimens are stored either in an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) in a two story freezer or in a walk-in refrigerated room. Each month, approximately 1500 - 2000 specimens are pulled from these storage systems at the request of clients who wish ARUP to perform another test that was different from the originally ordered test(s). This service is provided by ARUP because it enables the physician to obtain this additional result quickly, without having to ask the patient to go to a patient service center for another specimen collection and having his local laboratory process the specimen and ship it to ARUP. When the requests for additional tests are made, ARUP is able to know whether a tube from that patient exists in storage, but does not know if the tube is empty or has enough specimen for the requested test. Sometimes, the client has to be called back and told that we no longer have enough specimen and, then, the client contacts the patient to obtain a new specimen. If ARUP knew the actual volume of specimen in each stored tube, they could tell the client at the time of the initial call if there is enough specimen for the test, which would save time and return phone calls for both the client and ARUP. ARUP would not have to retrieve the tube from storage in order to know that there wasn't enough specimen for the test.

Detection of Interferences in Medical Samples in Opaque Test Tubes

This project seeks to investigate the feasibility of using an optical detection system with wavelengths ranging from the near-infrared (NIR) to the ultra-violet (UV) spectrum to detect optical signatures for interferences in medical samples, which include hemolysis, lipemia and icterus. The proposed technology would obtain these signatures without removing the screw cap and without disturbing the multiple labels attached to the specimen. The system could utilize various waveforms (continuous/square/pulsed) to explore the different absorption rates of all components involved (specimen, container, labels), potentially providing a varying degree of sensitivity to specimen volume, as well as label type and quantity.

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Last updated: Mon, 17-Nov-2008 16:53
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