Point of Care Device Design

The Background

The University of Liverpool had secured funding from the i4i to develop a patented diagnostic platform that can rapidly detect the onset of sepsis. A small sample of blood is centrifuged, and a reagent added to the plasma. Transmission of light through the sample is then measured and interpreted as a pass or fail.

4D Products were tasked with supporting the University’s medical and technical specialists in the development of the micro-fluidic consumable disc and point of care device. Mclennan Servo Supplies developed and supplied the stepper motor and control electronics.

The Design Phase

4D were given a list of known components to be housed within the desk top unit. We then developed a range of concepts, investigating the physical layout, and ergonomic requirements. The device was then developed further in Solidworks 3D CAD. Accurate alignment of the various optical detection components is crucial, so a precision machined chassis was developed to mount the critical parts. The whole case is then dropped over the top to create a simple looking, stylish device.

During the 18 month project we designed and supplied many prototype parts, using a variety of processes. All the hard plastic and metal components were CNC machined, whilst the keypad was vacuum cast from a soft PU material. We were also involved in the build of the first unit, having designed and supplied the majority of the bespoke physical parts.

The Result

The whole development team of have created something that is deceptively simple, both visually and functionally, that undertakes a complex diagnostic task. The results of the test are available in a vastly reduced time frame when compared with existing methods of sepsis testing.

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