Vera Strykalova, a second-year Master’s student at the ChemBio Cluster, is working on a portable device that assesses blood coagulability. The issue is particularly relevant in light of the coronavirus pandemic – one of the disease’s symptoms is an increased risk of thrombosis. Just like with a blood glucose monitor, all the patient needs to do is apply a drop of capillary blood onto a test strip and place it within the device.
The core principle of the gadget is based on a new technology: coagulability measurement in micropores. Using the capillary effect, the blood sample is drawn inside a test strip that contains a microporous membrane, which separates the reaction area into two cells. In the regular scenario, blood ions can freely move from one cell into another. But if fibrin strands are formed (a sign of blood clotting), the ions cannot penetrate the membrane. This results in an increase in electrical resistance across the whole system – manifested as a gradual reduction in electrical current. Based on this data, the device can quickly provide handy graphs.