Radiometer works with DTU to detect hemolysis

Thursday 06 Feb 20


Anders Kristensen
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 63 31
Researchers from DTU Health Tech have developed a sensor that can detect the destruction of red blood cells in blood samples (hemolysis) in close collaboration with Radiometer.

Prof. Anders Kristensen from DTU Health Tech has been driving a project to develop a sensor that can detect hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells, in blood samples (hemolysis).

"This could potentially allow our users to have an even stronger measure of the quality of the blood sample."
Frank Nielsen, R&D Director in Sensor Technology at Radiometer

The work has been carried out in close collaboration with Radiometer, a leading provider of solutions for blood sampling, blood gas analysis, transcutaneous monitoring, immunoassay testing and related IT management systems, who has tested the technology at their facilities in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2019, Radiometer acquired the patent behind the invention.

“During the project, we have examined the possibility of detecting hemolysis optically – and with good results. This could potentially allow our users to have an even stronger measure of the quality of the blood sample”, says Frank Nielsen, R&D Director in Sensor Technology at Radiometer and partner in the project. 

“Compared to plasma, there is a lot of potassium in red blood cells. The cells can burst when a nurse is taking a blood sample, which can give a value error of potassium and potentially lead to a critical mis-diagnosis. This is just one of many ways which hemolysis can cause mis-diagnosis. So it’s very important to know just how many red blood cells have bursted in the process”, Prof. Anders Kristensen explains.

There is currently no manufactures of point-of-care, near or close to the patient, equipment that offers hemolysis detection.

Sparring at a high technical level

The collaboration is a great example of how beneficial it can be for a university and a company to join hands to develop something new.

”In this collaboration, there has been a good mutual understanding of the different objectives each of us have had with this project. When two worlds meet, interesting perspectives and outcomes happen and it has been great to spare with each other – and at a very high technical level,” says Frank Nielsen.

“It was a fruitful and very close collaboration. We got a lot of knowhow about measuring blood and made some nice progress on developing the sensors”, Prof. Anders Kristensen adds.

Radiometer is involved in other research projects across DTU. ”DTU is a very competent institution and has a good understanding of the commercial needs when developing new technologies, and we always find our joined projects very interesting”, says Frank Nielsen.

Time will tell what there is in store for the hemolysis detection sensor but, as of now, it has proven to work, which is an important first step.

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