ABO and Rh(D) blood typing is one of the most important tests performed prior to blood transfusion. Although on-site blood testing is desirable for expedient blood transfusion procedure, most conventional methods and instruments lack the required usability or portability. Here, we describe a novel method, based on the detection of hemagglutination using an optical waveguide-mode sensor, for on-site use. The reflectance spectrum of blood alone and that of blood mixed with antibody reagents was measured using the waveguide-mode sensor. Differences in reflectance by agglutinated and non-agglutinated blood samples were observed at the bottom of the spectral dips; due to differences in the manner in which red blood cells interacted with the surface of the sensor chip. Following the addition of the antibody, blood types A, B, O, and AB were clearly distinguishable and Rh(D) typing was also possible using the waveguide-mode sensor. Furthermore, the waveguide-mode-based measurement exhibited the potential to detect weak agglutination, which is difficult for human eyes to distinguish. Thus, this method holds great promise for application in novel on-site test instruments.
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