WG Clemmons


Research Profile

Determining Sickle Cell Anemia/Thalassemia With a Multiwave Lightsource Detector



Presently there are many people suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia or Thalassemia because they were born the child of two carriers of the trait. The persons who carry the trait probably did not know that they were carriers. Our purpose for researching detection methods of the cells is to help slow the rate at which the genetic blood disorder passes. The aim is to make testing inexpensive, accurate and readily available by building an analytical instrument that is field portable and can run samples for $0.15 cents or less. Presently detection methods in the United States cost in the neighborhood of $40.00 dollars. The application of using an instrument such as this in pre-marital counseling or diagnosing newborns as carriers or positive for Sickle Cell and or Thalassemia inexpensively and accurately is not be far away.


The focus of my research is to determine Sickle cells and or Thalassemia cells from normal healthy red blood cells. I have set out to accomplish this by using two LED light sources, 403 nm and 505 nm. This duo light source is coupled to a measurement cell that consist of six photodiodes, electronic semiconductors that convert light into electricity, for the purpose of obtaining output in volts. Theoretical predictions propose that voltage output or light scattering will differ for normal RBC’S than it will for deformed or abnormal RBC’S. From this differentiation, a conclusion is made whether one is positive or negative for the blood disorders. 

Data and Electronics

The following data will display calibration curves of the instrument at multiple channels and two different wavelengths. Conversely, the data displays actual blood data by which blood samples were taken from individuals that have normal RBC’S and Sickle RBC’S. Finally, a schematic of the parallel circuit featuring the dual light source will be illustrated.



Figure 1.( A), (B) Calibration plot using nano-particle solution of multiple channels using 403 nm and 505 nm wavelength light source and their corresponding outputs.



Fig 2. (A), (B) Plot displays individual blood samples and corresponding output of the light source. 403 nm light source gets absorb whereas the 505 nm light scatters.

Figure 3. Data displays 403 nm and 505 nm  plotted against one another.  It displays with a few exceptions positive sickle cell samples scattering light at a higher voltage than negative samples.   Some Individuals who submitted blood samples underwent a blood transfusion, which causes a discrepancy with some of its scattering properties, giving some false positives and negatives.






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