We report an accurate method to count red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells, as well as to determine hemoglobin in the blood of humans, horses, dogs, cats, and cows. Red and white blood cell counts can also be performed on human body fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, and peritoneal fluid. The approach consists of using a compact, custom-built microscope to record large field-of-view, bright-field, and fluorescence images of samples that are stained with a single dye and using automatic algorithms to count blood cells and detect hemoglobin. The total process takes about 15 min, including 5 min for sample preparation, and 10 min for data collection and analysis. The minimum volume of blood needed for the test is 0.5 μL, which allows for minimally invasive sample collection such as using a finger prick rather than a venous draw. Blood counts were compared to gold-standard automated clinical instruments, with excellent agreement between the two methods as determined by a Bland-Altman analysis. Accuracy of counts on body fluids was consistent with hand counting by a trained clinical lab scientist, where our instrument demonstrated an approximately 100-fold lower limit of detection compared to current automated methods. The combination of a compact, custom-built instrument, simple sample collection and preparation, and automated analysis demonstrates that this approach could benefit global health through use in low-resource settings where central hematology laboratories are not accessible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry