Development of an automated system for counting fetal and maternal red blood cells in clinical KB Test
The Kleihauer-Betke (KB) test is the standard method for quantitating fetal-maternal hemorrhage in maternal care. The critical component of the KB test is the counting of fetal and maternal red blood cells (RBC). However, manual counting still the dominant clinical method for KB test. Manual RBC counting takes ~20 minutes. In a standard procedure, a lab technologist, looking through the eyepieces of a microscope, manually counts about 2,000 RBC and calculates the fetal-maternal RBC ratio. As is common with tedious manual operations, cost, human error and inconsistent subjective judgement are always a concern. To tackle the problem, researchers from University of Toronto and from Sigma Bio-Instrument Inc. are working together to develop an automated cell counting system, which is important for Sigma Bio-Instrument Inc. to remain competitive in the healthcare sector, but also to demonstrate the company’s leadership position in developing health related products.