New Lancet Offers Painless Bleeding
Technique By Laura McGinnis September 21, 2005
For allergy sufferers, the word "goldenrod" may evoke images of
discomfort. But for mice and medical researchers, the word may soon be a symbol
of relief. "Goldenrod," the name of a new lancet developed by
Agricultural Research Service
scientists, is being lauded as a humane and painless tool to draw blood from
Mice are indispensable participants in biomedical research, and their
comfort is a priority for those who work with them. But collecting blood
samples can be a difficult process.
Traditionally, drawing blood from the mouse's cheek has required a
deft and practiced hand. The Goldenrod lancet makes the process much easier.
Named for its inventors (ARS microbiologist
Golde, MEDIpoint engineer Peter Gollibin, and ARS research leader
Rodriguez), the lancet bypasses the shortcomings of traditional methods.
Medical manufacturer MEDIpoint, of Mineola, N.Y., helped design
the product, which is modeled on the lancets used for humans. The Goldenrod
draws four to 10 drops of blood from the mouse, while causing minimal
discomfort. Golde compares the process to the "thumb sticks" diabetics use to
test their blood sugar levels.
Repeated tests show that mice experience greater ease with the
Goldenrod lancet than with alternative methods. In addition, the Goldenrod is
safe, inexpensive and easy to use. Its many advantages have won praise from the
medical community for the ARS scientists at the
Island Animal Disease Center, Orient Point, N.Y.
The Federal Laboratory
Consortium honored the team with an Award for Excellence in Technology
Transfer in a Sept. 15 ceremony. This award recognizes researchers who bring
their federally developed technology to the market.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief in-house scientific research agency.