Portable White Blood Cell Counter in Development

Portable White Blood Cell Counter in Development

A team of young bioengineers are developing a portable device capable of counting white blood cells in real time, without requiring a blood test, simply by applying a small device on the fingertip:


"One of the bioengineers says that this technology opens up the possibility to personalize chemotherapy treatment according to the immunological response for each patient. Particularly, in the case of patients with lymphomas and leukaemia, "treatment doses could be maximised for each individual without compromising their immunological system. Treatment efficiency could be improved while reducing the risk of suffering serious infections."


The engineer says that, in addition to its application in chemotherapy, "there are other medical areas where this device could have a great impact, from preventing sepsis to the early diagnosis of a bacterial or viral infection which threatens 4 billion people worldwide."

Encouraging news for those of us challenged with neutropenia, though from reading the article, the device can't discriminate between lymphocytes and neutrophils, so will only be of use during treatment once treatment has driven down the lymphocyte level sufficiently that most of the remaining white blood cells are neutrophils. Still it will be great to be able to get near instantaneous indicative results!

My thanks to Linda for posting about this to the CLL groups.io community.


Photo: Seems half the seashell population has worked out how to counter rising sea levels...

3 Replies

  • Great! This is just what I was saying should be available and now it could be! My first reaction is that this could be so good!

    Fran 😊

  • Looks very promising, but if it can't distinguish between lymphocytes and neutrophils, that is an enormous drawback. I can see that for folk on chemotherapy, whose total white cell count may become dangerous low, it could be EXTREMELY useful. But for people with high lymphocyte counts (especially those in early treatment with Ibrutinib or Idelalisib, which push up the ALC), there would be a danger of them being neutropenia but this test would not show it.

    Still, it's a great step forward...

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