Blood test substituted by optical fiber beam light during cardiovascular surgery

Heart surgery is a life and death situation for the patient as well as the doctors performing the operation. Keeping this in mind the scientist Aristide Dogariu at the University of Central Florida has come up with a new technology that uses a beam of light to monitor the blood of the patient during the surgery in order to obtain a real-time status.

Earlier the doctors had to wait 10 minutes for the blood test results which has to be taken every 20-30 minutes to monitor the blood coagulation. The coagulation of the blood can lead to the death of the patient as the total heart-lung machine, which is used to circulate the blood, is shut down. Therefore, Dogariu found it very important to minimize the time wastage and also obtain accurate results from the signals that bounce back after the light is passed through blood in the heart-lung machine tubes.

Dogariu came up with an idea of using a machine with optical fibers which can directly pass through the tubes of the heart-lung machine. These optical fibers beam light into the tubes containing the blood and the signals are reflected back which are then interpreted. The vibration of the red blood cells can help determine the blood coagulation, for instance, slow vibration indicates coagulation and indicates the need for blood thinning medication. Thus, the beam of light can help the doctors be updated about the patient’s continuous blood report during surgery.

This continuous feedback from reflected light is a feather in the hat for the surgeons since a real-time monitoring of the blood during the surgery is not available till date.

For now, this innovation helps build the gap between the medical and the engineering sector. This technology is at the pilot scale for now and can be expected to hit the market in the coming years.

Vaibhav Bhosale undertook the post of Content Writer at Medical Device News in November 2016, following a 1.2-year of experience as an Project Lead; Instructional Writer at eNyota Learning Pvt. Ltd. His immense interest in reading brought him in this field. He can be reached at