Navigation Links
Hematology Analyzers Simple, Sophisticated Technology Serving All Patients


Betsy Donnelly, MT (ASCP)
Contributing Editor

Some form of electronic hematology analyzer is found at the center of most clinical laboratories. A blood cell count is usually the first screening test used to assess general health, rule out anemia or infection, and monitor cancer patients during the course of chemotherapy. It is difficult to imagine medical care without this workhorse device, and surprising to learn its origins.

Early testing of sonar, developed to detect submarines during World War II, revealed odd underwater echoes. To determine the cause, an electrical engineer was tasked with counting plankton in a large number of seawater samples. He devised a dual chamber container whose two sides were separated by a thin membrane fashioned from a cellophane cigarette carton wrapper. Having set up an ohm meter to measure impedance across the orifice, he partially drained one chamber. As seawater flowed through the orifice, each plankton cell caused a momentary drop in impedance. In this way, the concentration of plankton particles could be measured. The odd echoes were attributed to plankton, the principle was patented, and the practice of hematology was revolutionized.

All modern hematology analyzers, whether they are top-of-the-line models or the simple hematology analyzers used in physician's office laboratories, depend upon electrical impedance to classify and count red and white blood cells based on their size. Improvements to the application of electrical impedance include pulse editing, which corrects for cells passing through the aperture at various angles or at the same instant.

Cell counters must be sophisticated in the complexities of liquid handling; their fluidics systems must deliver exquisitely precise volumes of sample, diluent, and reagents by means of tubing and valves. Early instruments measured volumes using a mercury manometer. Fluidics were improved in later models by introd uction of vacuum pump systems. Today's instruments, such as the Horiba-ABX Micros 60, deliver liquids using calibrated syringes, resulting in more reliable performance, less down time, and simpler repairs.

Visible wavelength light is passed through the sample stream in even the simplest modern hematology analyzers. In most cell counters, the resulting light scatter is used to classify cells by granularity. Visible wavelength light is also used to improve counting of platelets, which are difficult to count because of their variable size and tendency to aggregate. In more sophisticated analyzers, dual angle optical scatter analysis combines optical signals from two independent light sources, eliminating common interferences in platelet counting. In the case of the Abbot CELL-DYNE Sapphire, the dual angle optical platelet count is then validated internally by an impedance count to identify possible interferences.

Newer technologies are incorporated in the more sophisticated cell counter models, improving the accuracy of the automated WBC differential count and enabling further classification of atypical or immature cells. Some hematology analyzers now use flow cytometry labels, lasers, and detectors to distinguish cell populations. This powerful technique classifies immature or atypical cells, which can have deceptively similar appearance in stained blood films, based upon known cell-surface markers. Because the number of cells counted by an automated system is many times greater than the number countable by eye in a manual differential, and because of the specificity of the cell-surface marker labels, the automated cell differential maximizes accuracy in hematology analysis.

A variety of other innovations in hematology analyzers include automated multi-sample loading, closed-tube sampling, barcode sample identification, automated preparation of stained or unstained blood smears, and a variety of data management and reporting systems. Analyzer s can store weeks or months of patient data, retrieve it in a variety of report forms, or communicate with a host over a serial link. Quality control data management is offered in even the simplest cell counters, with programs ranging from basic QC data retrieval and analysis to internet-based real-time data sharing systems. Beyond improving user safety and convenience, these capabilities can shorten turn-around time, provide real-time quality control information, and reduce clerical errors in data reporting.

A broad range of hematology analyzers is available today, and there is a powerful and reliable instrument capable of meeting the needs of every type of clinical laboratory. The modern cell counter combines a variety of technologies, simple and sophisticated, old and new, enabling laboratories to provide fast, reliable information for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring the health of every patient.

Betsy Donnelly has 30 years of experience as technologist, scientist and manager in clinical laboratory medicine and biotechnology.
'"/>




Related medicine technology :

1. Dade Behrings (hsCRP) Tests and BNTM Series Analyzers
2. Analyzers Offer Point-of-Care Lipid Panels
3. Point of Care Cardiac Analyzers Yield Rapid Cardiac Marker Results
4. Urinalysis Analyzers: Large Capabilities in Every Size Device
5. West Nile Virus Screening and Diagnostics Technology Emerges In Step with North American Outbreak

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Worldwide Radiology Oncology surgical ... as next generation systems provide a way to ... cancer surgery. New systems pinpoint the delivery of ... been such a problem previously, limiting the quantity ... take cancer surgery far beyond what has been ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... CITY, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company") today announced it has entered into a ... Exchange Commission (SEC) fully resolving the SEC,s investigation ... Act (FCPA).  Under the terms of the settlement ... of $12.8 million, including disgorgement, pre-judgment interest and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  Montoya Love is recognized by Continental Who,s ... Pharmaceuticals. Montoya is the Regulatory Systems Operations Manager with ... Manufacturing and selling a broad range ... provides healthcare institutions, clinical laboratories and life science researchers ... the globe. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for the special ... Foot massage, whether administered by a professional masseuse or a loved one, can bring ... of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) has taken the upcoming Valentine’s Day as ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps , official operators ... to direct high-performance kids yoga training. ChildLight Yoga Studio is centrally situated in the ... Boston. , ChildLight Yoga Studio founder Lisa Flynn expresses her excitement, “We are thrilled ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... , ... Give To Cure today announced that it is working ... To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to help find cures faster for ... a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 billion in transactions among users. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Justin ... announce their 2nd Annual No Cost Dental Day to individuals in need. The event ... purpose of this No Cost Dental Day is to provide dental care to community ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Pekin, IL (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... in disguised form as a dream. A hallmark feature of patients with eating disorders ... and needs. The eating disorder behaviors and obsessions are regarded as maladaptive means for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):