In a world where health care costs are escalating and demands on health care systems are becoming overwhelming, Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) today announces the innovation of hemaPEN™, a prototype blood collection and storage device.
Harnessing the benefits of Dried Blood Spot (DBS) sampling in an intuitive and safe portable format, hemaPEN has the potential to change the way individuals have their blood tested - eliminating the need to visit a clinic and offering precision blood sampling with the click of a button via its familiar pen design, which can be easily used by anyone including the young, elderly and people with disabilities.
The hemaPEN is the only device of its kind in the world that allows people to collect an uncontaminated and precise volume of their own blood from the fingertip at home, eliminating the need to travel to a medical clinic – not only saving time, but the superior ready-to-use DBS sample enables the laboratory to deliver more definitive test results.
After a simple finger prick, hemaPEN can be used to collect an accurate microsample of blood, placed in the mail and analysed by a laboratory – avoiding the often overwhelming load on clinics to take blood samples and alleviating stress for the patient.
hemaPEN is the first product concept from ASTech, the ARC Training Centre for Portable Analytical Separation Technologies – a $5.2 M program part funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Trajan – and has huge potential to benefit to a range of disease screening including diabetes, therapeutic drug monitoring and medical research.
hemaPEN is the result of research and investigation by ASTech Post-doctoral Research Fellow from UTAS, Dr Florian Lapierre, who holds a PhD in Micro and Nanotechnology in the field of sophisticated microfluidic device design, a Master of Science and Technology in microfluidic systems and a Master of Engineering in scientific measurement and applied business.
Dr Lapierre shared his inspiration, “Whilst researching, I was clicking my pen and thought, why have a retractable pen? So you can click when you need it, and not get ink everywhere when you don’t. hemaPEN takes the same form, collecting the blood when you want to and safely storing it inside.
“Working at ASTech gives me greater insight into developing my thinking beyond a traditional academic setting. I am undertaking my industry placement at Trajan and have a senior mentor who encourages me to think about commercialization, which has changed the way I approach my research – I’m now developing hemaPEN to fill a clear need in this particular market,” said Dr Lapierre.
Chief Executive Officer of Trajan, Stephen Tomisich says Trajan is driven by a passion to develop technologies that will impact human wellbeing.
“Whilst this first iteration of hemaPEN provides a DBS format ready for Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis, we are now working on future versions with various interfaces, potentially with in-built sensing technology. Excitingly, we will soon commence trialling the device with patients to determine the impact of self-sampling to their lifestyles and wellbeing,” Mr Tomisich said.
hemaPEN is an entry in the Premier’s Design Awards, which recognize and reward Victorian designers and businesses using exemplar design effectively and sustainably.
Photo: Dr Florian Lapierre, ASTech Post-doctoral Research Fellow from UTAS, currently undertaking his industry placement at Trajan Scientific and Medical - developing the hemaPEN to change the way individuals have their blood tested.
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