A Rapid Viscosity-Based Method to Characterize Biological Fluids

We have developed a method incorporating a high-speed camera to extract biologically-relevant rheological data. We aim to validate this rapid diagnostic method for better understanding of basic biophysical processes in human diseases. We present preliminary results on whole blood, blood plasma and reconstituted synovial fluid to support the development of a rapid assay for viscosity-related diagnostics. Our first results were obtained on pleural effusions from patients. The ability to discriminate between transudate and exudate pleural effusion is a critical step towards guiding a new patient to the proper level of care like providing devices directly to clinicians. Ultimately, this method will be applied to viscosity-linked blood diseases such as leukemia. The method also enables probing molecular interactions within a biological fluid, i.e. C-reactive Protein (CRP) in whole blood, or immunodeficiencies. 

Stain Analysis:

There is growing need for developing point-of-care and bedside test to analyze various biological fluids of clinical relevance to diseases diagnostics. Our project aims at analyzing the patterns of fluid stains onto surfaces for classification of body fluids such as blood, saliva, but also ascites and effusions. For example, pleural effusions can provide a rapid test of lung infection or tumor malignant cells while synovial fluids may provide biomarkers of arthritis or other auto-immune diseases. The method of automating stain analysis with pattern recognition algorithm allows building a database of images that can then be used to compare and classify images acquired from an unknown samples that can accurately predict their biochemical content for analysis of their pathogenesis. Our team is collaborating with Prof. D. Attinger at Iowa State University and Prof. S.F. Chang at Columbia University to develop this technique for early diagnosis of cancers and/or infectious diseases.