Microfluidic patch can detect when cows are in heat

Categorie(s) : Education, Industry, News, Research

Published : 6 December 2021

CEA-Leti and INRASE are coordinating the SmartRepro project, which also includes PhD research by Juliette Simon, whose dissertation is on a biosensor that can detect when cows are in heat, just before they ovulate. Heat detection is crucial to timing insemination and managing the reproduction of cattle efficiently.
Visual observation alone is only 50% to 60% accurate. The solution studied here is a patch with a microfluidic circuit. In addition to being inexpensive, easy to use, and reliable, it is also painless for cows. Once placed on the cow’s ear, the patch’s micro-needles collect blood or interstitial fluid*; a hormone assay is completed and an alert is triggered when the estrogen level that corresponds to the cow being in heat is reached. The sensor has been prototyped, but the signal processing system is still in development.

*The fluid between blood vessels and cells

Contact: camille.giroud@cea.fr
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