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Millions of Americans at risk for blood clots, strokes, and hypertension must endure routine lab tests to monitor their blood-thinning medications, which can be frequent, costly, and painful. Now, researchers at the University of Cincinnati say that they are developing materials and technology for a simple in-home screening that could be life changing for these patients.

Their device uses nanofiber membranes inside paper-based porous materials housed within a plastic cassette. The researchers explain that their device can quickly reveal the level of the blood’s ability to clot with a simple finger stick to draw a drop of blood—all from the convenience of the patient’s home.

While slight changes in the level of coagulation properties will occur normally depending on certain food intake and overall health conditions, they say that a major change in levels will immediately show up on the paper-based test stick resulting in clotting patterns registering on one end of the spectrum or the other to alert the patient before any physiological problem occurs.

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