Fingerstick blood self-collection device for radiation countermeasures

Researchers from the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine (ANBM), The University of Arizona, College of Medicine have developed a lood self-collection device to quickly estimate a person’s exposure to radiation in the event of a nuclear accident or attack.

The Led by Jian Gu, PhD the study reports development of a system for packaging critical components of a traditional blood-collection kit to create an integrated fingerstick blood collector for radiation countermeasures. An easy-to-use, self-administered blood test that quickly could evaluate a person's radiation exposure would help triage emergency medical treatment in the event of a radiological or nuclear event. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services long has sought ways to monitor a population's radiation exposure following such an event. 

Using 3-D printing, a miniaturized vacuum tube, coupled with integrated capillaries and a lancet, were fabricated into a self-collection device that can process the blood specimen for both cytogenetic and gene expression biodosimetry that then would be analyzed in a centralized bioanalytical laboratory. Cytogenetic biodosimetry measures the response of circulating blood lymphocytes in the body to accurately estimate the absorbed radiation dose. Gene expression biodosimetry measures the expression levels of a panel of radiation-sensitive genes for the absorbed dose. Results could be returned in one day in the gene expression tests and three days with the cytogenic tests.

"The integrated collector will alleviate the sample collection bottleneck for radiation countermeasures following a large-scale nuclear event, and may be useful in other applications with its self-collection and liquid reagent sample preprocessing capabilities," Dr. Gu said. The study is part of a core National Institutes of Health program, led since 2005 by Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA, ANBM center director, in partnership with Columbia University and Georgetown University, under a U19 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases grant, sponsored by the Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation. Teams at the UA College of Medicine - Phoenix and Columbia University have co-developed three major assay platforms for high-throughput biodosimetry, including gene expression, cytogenetics (a branch of genetics concerned with how chromosomes relate to cell behavior during mitosis and meiosis) and metabolomics (the study of small molecules, or metabolites within cells, blood or tissues).

The full research article is availble to read here

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