Formula paves the way for simple blood test

Published in MPW, 9 Mar 2016

Scientists in Canada have come up with a formula to predict the refractive index of blood at different concentrations, temperatures and wavelengths. The formula, which they created based on tests of a blood-mimicking phantom, paves the way for clinical tests of blood properties using a simple refractometer (Phys. Med. Biol. 61 1405).

Most of the optical properties of blood come from its haemoglobin, which is contained in the red blood cells. A relatively high refractive index – that is, a strong ability to bend transmitted light – indicates a good concentration of haemoglobin, whereas a low refractive index indicates a deficiency – anaemia. […]

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