Magnetic device isolates rarest white blood cells

Across the world, food allergies are on the rise. One of the most important cells in studying this ailment are basophils, which activate inflammation and other responses to allergens such as rashes, and sometimes, anaphylaxis. But basophils are exceedingly rare in a typical vial of blood, comprising 1% or less of all white blood cells. In order to advance the science of food allergies—and to learn more about this elusive cell—engineers and clinicians at Stanford University have focused their attention on a way to isolate basophils.
Across the world, food allergies are on the rise. One of the most important cells in studying this ailment are basophils, which activate inflammation and other responses to allergens such as rashes, and sometimes, anaphylaxis. But basophils are exceedingly rare in a typical vial of blood, comprising 1% or less of all white blood cells. In order to advance the science of food allergies—and to learn more about this elusive cell—engineers and clinicians at Stanford University have focused their attention on a way to isolate basophils.