Improving the process of quantifying oxy-hemoglobin in blood
Our prototype includes a cuvette warmer that heats and cools using Peltier elements, two heat sinks and fans on each side of the cuvette, thermostat circuit, and an optical oxygen electrode inserted into the cuvette to measure pO2.
The Hemox Analyzer, a type of hemoximeter, produces the oxygen dissociation curve (ODC) and P50 value, metrics used to determine a blood sample’s affinity for oxygen. The technology for measuring the ODC and the P50 for sickle cell disease research is inefficient and expensive, which limits the research process. This project targets improving the efficiency of the hemoximeter in order to produce the ODC by making crucial improvements to the start-up time of the Hemox Analyzer, allowing researchers to more efficiently research the treatment of blood disorders. To do this, the existing heating block and clark electrode in the Hemox Analyzer was replaced with the HeatMoxy, a Peltier-element based device controlled by digital thermostats and an optical electrode. Testing of our HeatMoxy prototype showed that it decreased warm-up time of the Hemox by 56.6%. While the Clark electrode requires between 1-6 hours of warm-up time with frequent maintenance, the optical electrode requires no warm-up period, minimal maintenance, and no calibration to produce results. These combined components of the HeatMoxy reduces the start-up time of the Hemox Analyzer. Eliminating the need for electrode calibration and the improvement of warm up time by 56.6% translates into approximately $7000 and 40 hours saved per month of clinical research and increased throughput of preclinical and clinical investigation of blood disorders. These benefits allow for greater progression of research into sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders, allowing researchers to quickly determine the most effective treatment, identify the most dangerous hazards, and get closer to eliminating these diseases for good.