Christian Bax

April / April - 2019

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach


Flex-POC is a high-tech in-vitro-diagnostic system for flexible and mobile use.

What is the Topic?

As a compact in-vitro-diagnostic device for blood samples at the point of care, Flex-POC can contribute to the decentralization of healthcare and thereby to the well-being of many people. The device brings extensive laboratory technology to the patients. Equipped with advanced microfluidic technology, as well as pumps to mix up blood with additional chemicals and opto-chemical diagnostic technology, Flex-POC is at the same time compact and designed for easy transport and user-centred handling. It uses modern communication technology and allows to carry out numerous diagnostic tests in rural areas.

Why does it look like this?

All required components, including lancet and blood-injection pad are integrated in the diagnostic foil. For a better handling, the foil gets put into a holder so the complete diagnostic process can be carried out, needing only very few objects. The holder with the foil gets folded so it forms a hygienic barrier between doctor and patient. The design is optimized for a flexible and mobile use. A bumper consisting of rubber protects the case from damage. The touch-screen on the upper side is slightly inclined towards the user. Dynamic lights at the sides visualize the diagnostic process and result for the user.

What is special?

Flex-POC anticipates the development of analytical foils as a progressive medium. Micro-channels, reservoirs, pumps and electrical conductors are integrated as well as a lancet and a blood-injection pad. That is how the complete interaction-process can happen using the foil in the holder only, avoiding the need of manual pipetting. The preparation of the analysis gets optimized, reducing the risk of infection. Starting the process, the finger gets pricked with the lancet and the blood gets injected through the blood-injection pad. Afterwards, the holder with the foil is put in the device and the analysis can get started using a touch-screen. As the device is used in the presence of the patient, it has status lights visualizing the result for him.

What is new?

Flex-POC uses an opto-chemical analytical method that can universally be used for the analysis of numerous parameters. It combines that method with a material-saving analytical foil that allows automatic mixing of the blood with chemical additives as well as the analysis itself. The foil is very thin and reduces the amount of material and later waste compared to conventional injection-moulded cartridges. The foil has to be thrown away after usage for hygienic reasons as it contains a certain risk of infection. Besides from the analytical function, the device can be used to build up a real-time disease database.