In vivo microscopy of blood

TYPESolid State Institute Seminar
Speaker:Associate Professor Dvir Yelin
Affiliation:Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Technion
Organizer:Associate Professor Oren Cohen
Location:Solid State Auditorium(Entrance)
Measuring  the  composition  of  a  patient  blood  is  often  the  first  step  in  clinical  diagnosis,  and  is  most

commonly  performed  by  extracting  a  blood  sample  for  laboratory  analysis  that  provides  invaluable

information on patient condition. The use of invasive blood extraction is often problematic with chronic

patients,  infants,  and  patients  with  needle  phobia.  Moreover,  in  areas  with  poor  accessibility  to  large

healthcare  facilities  and  poor  sanitary  conditions,  blood  tests  become  challenging  due  to  high  risk  of

infection, sample contamination, and long waits for the test results that delay optimal treatment. Several

technologies exist for measuring single blood parameters (oxygen saturation, hemoglobin etc.) without using

needles; however, these techniques suffer from low accuracy, large variability between patients of different

skin color, and provide only a few parameters that are often insufficient even for initial diagnosis.


A  novel  optical  encoding  technology,  recently  developed  by  our  research  group,  allows  highresolution 

confocal  microscopy  of  individual  blood  cells  flowing  within small  blood  vessels in  the  oral

mucosa. The technique uses encoded imaging that allows real-time microscopy of a transverse line within a

blood vessel, resulting in a detailed image of the passing blood cells, which is then analyzed to produce a

measurement  of  the  blood  content  and  cell  morphology.  Our  blood  microscope  technology  could  be

incorporated into a laptop-sized instrument with a small handheld probe that is placed  against the patient’s

lips. Based on the subcellular-resolution image data, the system can test blood noninvasively with no needles

or hazardous waste, no risk of infection, and within a few minutes.