New way to check the quality of blood before opening the bag

Thursday, February 14, 2019 Ross FitzGerald
Dr. Dana Devine Chief Scientist with a red shirt and brown hair
Dr. Dana Devine, Chief Scientist, Canadian Blood Services

Researchers have developed a new technique to assess the quality of blood without breaching the sterility of blood bags, according to a new paper published by Dr. Martha Vardaki.

The study is part of a larger ongoing effort to develop non-invasive technologies to monitor blood products during storage.

“We know that some blood products deteriorate faster in storage than others, but we have no way yet to identify the ‘bad apples’ prior to transfusion,” says Dr. Dana Devine, chief scientist with Canadian Blood Services. 

For a few years, Dr. Devine has been collaborating on this project with Dr. Robin Turner at the University of British Columbia and his colleague Dr. Michael Blades who are experts in a technology called Raman spectroscopy. 

“Similar technology is used in some airports to determine whether the liquids that you have in your carry on are okay to take on board an aircraft without opening the bottle,” says Dr. Devine.

Using this technology, it’s possible to sample a liquid just below the surface of a container, including blood below the surface of a blood bag. This offers an option to make measurements in blood products without breaching the sterility of the blood bag.

In addition to Dr. Devine’s contributions, the study is also supported by blood products from Canadian Blood Services’ Blood for Research facility.

Read more about the study on the University of British Columbia’s website. 


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.


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