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Blood sampling innovation
Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) has unveiled a prototype blood
collection and storage device that harnessing the benefits of dried blood
spot (DBS) sampling in an intuitive and safe portable format.
The hemaPEN has, according to Trajan,
the potential to change the way people
have their blood tested – eliminating
the need to visit a clinic and offering
precision blood sampling with the
click of a button via its pen design.
The pen can be easily used by anyone
including the young, elderly and people
hemaPEN is the first product concept
from ASTech, the ARC Training Centre
for Portable Analytical Separation
Technologies – a $5.2 million program
part funded by the Australian Research
Council (ARC), University of Tasmania
(UTAS) and Trajan.
Trajan believes it has huge potential
to benefit a range of disease screening
including diabetes, therapeutic drug
monitoring and medical research.
hemaPEN is the result of research and
investigation by ASTech Post-doctoral
Research Fellow from UTAS, Dr Florian
Lapierre, who holds a PhD in Micro
and Nanotechnology in the field of
sophisticated microfluidic device design,
a Master of Science and Technology in
microfluidic systems and a Master of
Engineering in scientific measurement
and applied business.
Dr Lapierre said: ‘Whilst researching,
I was clicking my pen and thought,
“why have a retractable pen?” So you
can click when you need it, and not
get ink everywhere when you don’t.
hemaPEN takes the same form,
collecting the blood when you want to
and safely storing it inside.
‘ Working at ASTech gives me greater
insight into developing my thinking
beyond a traditional academic setting.
I am undertaking my industry placement
at Trajan and have a senior mentor
who encourages me to think about
commercialisation – which has changed
the way I approach my research. I’m now
developing hemaPEN to fill a clear
need in this particular market,’ said
Chief Executive Officer of Trajan,
Stephen Tomisich said Trajan was driven
by a passion to develop technologies
that will impact human wellbeing.
‘Whilst this first iteration of hemaPEN
provides a DBS format ready for Liquid
(LC-MS) analysis, we are now working
on future versions with various
interfaces, potentially with in-built
sensing technology. Excitingly, we will
soon commence trialling the device
with patients to determine the impact
of self-sampling to their lifestyles and
wellbeing,’ Mr Tomisich said.
According to Trajan, the hemaPEN
is the only device of its kind in the
world that allows people to collect an
uncontaminated and precise volume
of their own blood from the fingertip
at home, eliminating the need to travel
to a medical clinic – not only saving
time, but the superior ready-to-use
DBS sample enables the laboratory
to deliver more definitive test results.
After a simple finger prick, hemaPEN
can be used to collect an accurate
microsample of blood, placed in the mail
and analysed by a laboratory – avoiding
the often overwhelming load on clinics
to take blood samples and alleviating
stress for the patient.
Care with antibiotics
Antibiotic Awareness Week will take
place from 16–22 November and this
year the theme is Antibiotics: handle
with care. It is endorsed by the World
Health Organization and acknowledges
the global importance of this growing
public health issue.
Antibiotic Awareness Week 2015
encourages all Australians to play
a part in addressing the threat of
antimicrobial resistance. A global action
plan to tackle the growing problem of
antibiotic resistance was endorsed at
the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly
in Geneva, Switzerland in May.
Australia’s First National Antimicrobial
Resistance Strategy 2015–19 was
released in June this year and hailed
as an important step forward for the
healthcare, agriculture and veterinary
sectors and for the community, all of
whom have a role in combating
One of the key objectives of the
global action plan is to improve
awareness and understanding of
antimicrobial resistance through
effective communication, education
and training. The high rate of antibiotic
use in Australia is an immediate concern
that has also been highlighted in the
The Australian Commission on Safety
and Quality in Health Care (the
Commission) and NPS MedicineWise are
working with a range of organisations
from around Australia to encourage the
responsible use of antibiotics.
Individuals can take action today by not
expecting antibiotics when they have
viral infections, and only taking them
when prescribed. Misuse of antibiotics
may lead to their failure in the future.
Without effective antibiotics, infections
that were once easy to treat may
For more information about Antibiotic
Awareness Week 2015, visit:
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