August 7, 2013 AT 1:12 am

MIT’s white blood cell magnet

MIT’s White Blood Cell Magnet Could Revolutionize Disease Diagnosis

To give you an idea of how micro this video is, those dots you see moving diagonally toward the top of the screen are individual white blood cells. What you’re looking at is a microchip that sorts out white blood cells from a blood sample. It makes a great visual, but more importantly, it could seriously improve the way we diagnose disease.

Researchers at MIT used the same process that goes on inside your body to attract white blood cells away from the general blood flow. They coated tiny channels (the diagonal stripes in the video) with a sticky molecule called P-selectin, which your body uses to attract white blood cells to injured tissue. As blood passes from left to right along the bottom, white blood cells filter out, and roll away along the P-selectin coated ramps.


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