Planar Next-Generation Sensor for Blood Analysis-the World`s First Device of this Kind

8 June 2001

We,HORIBA,Ltd. have jointly developed the world`s first planar next-generation sensor to measure red and white blood cells, with Toyohashi University of Technology. Compared with the solid-form sensors in existing blood cell counting devices, this new sensor is of less than about one hundredth in volume, and requires only less than 1µl of blood for measurement, one hundredth of the conventionally required blood amount. We hope that this greatly-downsized device will improve convenience of measurement in clinical settings, thereby reducing the burdens these tests may impose on patients.

The new sensor, which we have jointly developed with Ishida Laboratory at Toyohashi University of Technology, measures blood cells with a planar sensor. The measurements were conventionally performed with three-dimensional (solid)sensors. Using microfabrication technology, our "technological seeds," we have developed the new type of sensor. Blood cell measurement is one of the most basic items of hematological testing which is indispensable in health examination, and disease diagnosis and treatment. In the conventional method, blood is analyzed with an about 2-3 cm square rectangular parallelepiped sensor (our existing products) by the electric resistance method, while the new sensor performs a series of measurements in a planar silicon tip of about 1 cm square. This size reduction, to less than one hundredth of that of the existing products, was enabled by our micro-machine technology. The necessary amounts of reagents and blood for measurement has also decreased to one hundredth, less than 1µl.

In the 21st century, the needs in the medical field have become increasingly sophisticated and complicated, requiring greater efficiency of medical practice. In the medical measurement device industry providing, demands have been growing for equipment that enables quick blood testing at clinics, without making patients wait several days for results, and for smaller and more handy devices, such as a portable device with which a patient can measure glucose by themselves at home. In addition, further saving of resources and energy, including reagents, is a global environmental challenge. Since all existing blood cell counting devices are of desk-top size, the development of a very much smaller, hand-held sensor, has been greatly desired as a key to downsizing these analyzers.

Ishida Laboratory, Toyohashi University of Technology The laboratory is engaged in research of sensor devices and integrated circuits, in order to develop sophisticated integrated circuits, sensors with intelligent functions (intelligent sensors), etc. Its numerous achievements include involvement in research of space motion sickness using carp, in an experiment performed by Mamoru Mori, the well-known Japanese astronaut, in the Endeavor space shuttle. In this experiment, transmission of brain wave signals from carp was examined: this testing method was developed based on the concept proposed by this laboratory.

Professor: Makoto Ishida
Contact Address: 1-1, Hibarigaoka, Tenpaku-cho, Tohoyashi, Aichi 441-8580
TEL/FAX: 0532-44-6740