Time- and distance-resolved robotic imaging of fluid flow in vertical microfluidic strips: a new technique for quantitative, multiparameter measurement of global haemostasis

Ruya Meltem Sariyer, Kirandeep Gill, Sarah H. Needs, Daniel Hodge, Nuno Reis, Chris I. Jones, Alexander D. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Measuring the complex processes of blood coagulation, haemostasis and thrombosis that are central to cardiovascular health and disease typically requires a choice between high-resolution low-throughput laboratory assays, or simpler less quantitative tests. We propose combining mass-produced microfluidic devices with open-source robotic instrumentation to enable rapid development of affordable and portable, yet high-throughput and performance haematological testing. A time- and distance-resolved fluid flow analysis by Raspberry Pi imaging integrated with controlled sample addition and illumination, enabled simultaneous tracking of capillary rise in 120 individual capillaries (∼160, 200 or 270 μm internal diameter), in 12 parallel disposable devices. We found time-resolved tracking of capillary rise in each individual microcapillary provides quantitative information about fluid properties and most importantly enables quantitation of dynamic changes in these properties following stimulation. Fluid properties were derived from flow kinetics using a pressure balance model validated with glycerol–water mixtures and blood components. Time-resolved imaging revealed fluid properties that were harder to determine from a single endpoint image or equilibrium analysis alone. Surprisingly, instantaneous superficial fluid velocity during capillary rise was found to be largely independent of capillary diameter at initial time points. We tested if blood function could be measured dynamically by stimulating blood with thrombin to trigger activation of global haemostasis. Thrombin stimulation slowed vertical fluid velocity consistent with a dynamic increase in viscosity. The dynamics were concentration-dependent, with highest doses reducing flow velocity faster (within 10 s) than lower doses (10–30 s). This open-source imaging instrumentation expands the capability of affordable microfluidic devices for haematological testing, towards high-throughput multi-parameter blood analysis needed to understand and improve cardiovascular health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1623-1637
JournalSensors & Diagnostics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, Republic of Türkiye for Postgraduate Study Abroad Program to support Rüya Meltem Sarıyer and the EPSRC (EP/R022410/1) and by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) under its Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme (Grant Reference Number NIHR203362). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.


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