Maine Patent of the Month – November 2021

Immunoassay tests are performed using specialized dry chemistry analytical instruments such as test slides. On the other hand, hematology tests performed on blood samples are typically done manually. These include red or white blood cell counts, platelet counts, corpuscular volume tests and so on. IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. has designed a test slide specifically for hematological tests.

IDEXX is a biotechnology company focused on creating technology that enhances the health of all pets, people, and livestock. This commitment has come through in the development of diagnostic tests and tools for a wide range of applications, lab and consulting services, water quality testing, and research into human health. With this extensive range of applications, it’s no surprise that they would develop a test slide that improves blood testing. 

Their design produces a hematology test slide that has both a top and bottom cover slip made of glass. It also has a housing member, and a base gasket and base plate. A divet allows for an aliquot of blood sample between the coverslips. A U-shaped spacer provides a base for a pipetted sample. The spacer also has a pair of straight, parallel, spaced apart legs which stick out from the sample base and define a “read area”. The pipetted sample flows, by capillary action, to this “read area”. The glass design and the read area allow for optical measurements by any device like a reflectometer, fluorometer, or digital imaging camera. With this method, the testing procedure can be largely automated and reduces the amount of labor time and energy needed.

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