2019 by SHUN-FA YANG

Rare Cell Diagnostics

When it comes to patient selection or biomarker discovery, consistent and rapid results are of the utmost importance.

The MiSelect R achieves 90% cell recovery with less than 10% variation.  Best of all, users can confidently expect these results independent of operator experience level.

Furthermore, results this important should not take days, or even weeks, to get back from a central lab. Process two samples of whole blood with only 10 minutes of hands on prep, and complete the automated imaging of rare target cells within a few hours, all in your own lab.

Design Input

My design started from onsite observation and interviews. From the early stage I worked together with client’s engineers to define intended users, use environments and user interface.

Usability Design

My first step is to optimize the workflow to reduce users’ work load and operating time, and also, based on ergonomics, ensure great comfort. I worked together with engineers to come out with a feasible solution.

It is not easy to imagine how a product will work through a 3D model. Therefore next to 3D simulations, I created a paper prototype combined with 3D printing mock up to quickly test the product’s usability. It is also a good way to put engineers, product managers and designers on the same page to discuss the concept and make sure that the product’s units are easy and intuitive to operate. This way I could for example assesses if indication light and buttons are easy to see, and positioned at a convenient angle or if the position of sample stage is easy for sample insertion or removal. I simplified operation through automation and by minimizing the number of buttons. Moreover, the ongoing discussions with researchers from the prototyping stage enhanced the practicality of equipment design.

Simplify Complexity

My objective was to simplify the complexity of such a specialized equipment to create a compact, tabletop form factor that would also fit in small labs. In particular, I took into account user environment - in order to fit the width of a working table, I layout the Y axis direction size as small as possible.

I wanted to make sure the user can distinguish the three main instruments of the device easily, so I used different color and material to separate them, which also become a special feature of the design.

Silver brushed aluminum band separates the device into two parts. Above the band is a lid, below are reagent holder, blood tube and buttons. The band also becomes a highlight feature of the device.

Special Finishing 

Due to small quantity of production, mass production manufacturing method, such as plastic injection molding, would exceed the cost limit, as tooling fee would be a huge expense. In order to ensure stylish appearance, I decided to use the CNC method to manufacture each unit.

Because I considered the size of the device - it is big - it was necessary to decrease the weight. Therefore I selected fire retardant grade ABS material as the main material for the appearance cover. Taking into account the durable and withstand disinfectants requirements, I decided to put on UV coating on each part to withstand strong disinfectants present in a lab environment.

LAB Device

Assemble all the components together to check whether the device matches the design input. Through continuous verification, I made sure to deliver a good product.