Image: The TAP capillary blood draw device (Photo courtesy of Seventh Sense Biosystems).
A new lithium heparin coated disposable device can quickly and conveniently collect capillary blood for Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) analysis.
The Seventh Sense Biosystems (7SBio; Medford, MA, USA) TAP device is a single-use, sterilized whole blood specimen collection and transportation device that uses a combination of two mechanisms, capillary action and vacuum extraction, in order to obtain a capillary blood sample from a patient. The device is first placed on the upper arm; a simple press of a button prominently located on top of the device fires a ring of 30 spring-loaded microneedles--each one smaller than an eyelash--that puncture the skin and draw about 100 microliters of blood.
The TAP device also contains lithium heparin as an anticoagulant in the integrated reservoir, which also includes s a fill indicator window to confirm that blood collection is complete, and that sufficient blood has been collected to conduct HbA1c testing. Sample collection time typically takes 2-3 minutes, with future versions planned that will enable patients to collect their own blood. The sample must be tested within six hours from time of collection or as indicated in the HbA1c test system package insert. The TAP device has received the European Community CE mark of approval.
“The needles are so small and are deployed and retracted so rapidly patients don’t actually feel them, compared to venipuncture. This could cut down on the number of patients who delay or forgo doctor’s visits because of the blood draw,” said Howard Weisman, CEO of 7SBio. “No one likes getting blood drawn, but blood is the single-most important source of medical information in healthcare today, with about 90% of all diagnostic information coming from blood and its components.”
Blood draw procedures occur 350 million times annually in the United States alone. Almost 28% of adult venipunctures and 44% of pediatric venipunctures draws require more than one stick to successfully draw blood, and around 10% of children 3-10 years old must be physically restrained for a needle-based blood draw, creating disruptions for patients and clinicians alike, together with significant direct and indirect costs.
Seventh Sense Biosystems