NCL, a resident of Skolkovo’s biomed cluster, has unveiled a prototype laser lancet – a contactless device that punctures the skin to harvest capillary blood samples.  

The lancet is intended for use by professional medical personnel for the collection of samples from patients in health care facilities, laboratories, blood transfusion stations and other medical institutions where the capillary blood is collected.

Ekaterina Savchuk demonstrating the laser lancet at Medica 2014. 

“Our device is created with unique laser skin puncture technology and has proved to have big export potential,” said NCL general director Ekaterina Savchuk.

The lancet looks like a futuristic table microscope and stands 30cm tall with a cord and button used to activate the laser.

It was first unveiled at the healthcare industry expo Medica 2014 in Dusseldorf late last year.

“Everyone noticed its attractive design and were pleasantly surprised to find out it was designed in Russia. At the exhibition, the interest was predominantly from European and Asian medical technology distributors,” Savchuk added.

The laser approach to taking blood samples has numerous advantages over traditional needles, which are more prone to causing infection and generally inflict more pain than the contactless method, not to mention the cost and contamination and infection risks associated with used needle disposal.

Laser punctures heal quicker than those created by needles, the developers say.

Laser punctures heal quicker than those created by needles, the developers say.

The puncture is made with the use of disposable plastic caps that ensure hygiene in the area of contact between adjacent tissues with the lancet. Users can choose one of five puncture-depth levels depending on the volume of blood required.

It takes just 600 millionths of a second to pierce the skin with a cutting diameter of up to 0.6 millimeters.

NCL claims up to 500 million rubles a year can be saved by replacing imported devices with the domestically produced lancet.

The NCL lancet is being produced with the support of the Skolkovo Foundation and the nanotech center Technospark. NCL became a Skolkovo resident last April.