• Analyzing blood for ions, such as electrolytes or basic nutrients like iron, currently requires drawing several milliliters of blood and removing large molecules and cells via methods like centrifugation.
  • The scientists placed a drop of human blood into a sample well, below which lies a dialysis membrane that keeps out large molecules and another membrane that allows either positively or negatively charged ions to pass through. They apply an electric field for a minute, drawing ions of that charge through the membranes into water on the other side, which they then analyze for ions of interest.
  • Because it requires less blood, the new method could allow for more frequent measurements and thus better characterization of how these ions fluctuate in the blood over a day or after particular exposures.

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