The new approach to the finger tissue puncturing procedure is in high demand in the market: it will enhance the procedure itself, make it easier (without the need of complex actions and usage of non-sterile scarifiers, etc.), reduce pain, and provide a higher level of sterility and protection against infections.
Capillary blood is usually taken by means of finger puncturing by disposable scarifiers (lancets).
Traditional metal needle-punching scarifiers used in medical institutions are characterized by painful puncture because of the lack of excellent spear surfaces polishing and the impossibility to control the puncture depth. Scarifiers do not provide complete sterility of the blood collection procedure. The risk of infection is primarily caused by the probability of direct contact of non-sterile surfaces (including medical personnel's gloves) with a sterile scarifier's surface coming into direct contact with the patient's bloodstream. In practice, medical personnel often change gloves in case of any damages or only a few times per shift. Disposal of sharp used lancets also brings certain challenges and makes the production cost of this procedure rather expensive.
To reduce the risk of possible infection during blood collection from a finger many developed countries (USA, Europe) legally authorized to use in medical institutions only automatic lancets in the individual case with a retractable needle and a one-time release mechanism that guarantees the device single use ("safety lancet"). However, the high cost of such lancets limits their widespread application in Russia.
Compared with domestic punching scarifiers the average cost of lancets with retractable needle is higher to 20 times. Average public medical institution conducts up to 7000 blood collections from a finger per year, compared with the use of metal lancets the laser lancet provides savings of up to 50 000 rubles per year. In comparison, the savings for 10,000 medical institutions in this case will amount to 500 million rubles per year.
In addition, when using lancets due to inevitable vibrations the wound will be sword-cut in the case of punching scarifiers and lacerated when using the lancet with a retractable needle. This leads to painful puncture procedure and prolonged healing of the wound.
The non-contact puncture technology is based on ablation process (evaporation) of biological tissues exposed to a short laser radiation signal with a unique wavelength. The blood sample can be obtained and used for analysis in the microchannel formed.
Use of laser radiation when compared with metal needles reduce tissue damage and avoids the use of metal lancets the use of which creates the risk of infection.
Another feature of this technology is the low pain and rapid healing of microwounds after puncture.
The laser lancet Erbilite is based upon the use of a single pulse of laser light at 2936 nm which ablates a tiny hole through the upper layers of the skin. This exposes the capillary blood vessels so that a blood sample can be taken and used with conventional analysis equipment. The use of laser light, as opposed to stainless steel, reduces tissue trauma and eliminates medical sharps as a potential source of cross contamination. Most patients report feeling less pain resulting from use of the laser lancet as compared to traditional metal lancet devices.
The laser energy used by the Erbilite has unique properties that produce a small hole without heating collateral tissue or cauterizing the delicate capillary vessels. The Erbilite features adjustable energy settings, which are used to compensate for the variations in thickness of the human skin. The pulse of laser light produced by the Erbilite vaporizes skin tissue in less than half a millisecond. The blood and skin that are not in the laser beam path are not affected by the laser energy. Laser lancet emission is safe for the eyes and does not require use eye-shield.The main benefits of the laser lancet include :
The disposable plastic caps are used to ensure the hygiene of the device in contact with a patient's finger. Herewith this provides protection of the focusing lens against the evaporation products of biological tissues, which are deposited inside the cap. Caps are not sterile, since there is no contact with damaged surfaces.