Abbott Diagnostics: CELL-DYN SMS™ Automated Blood Film Preparation System

We worked with the client to design, develop and manufacture the first automated slide maker and stainer.
Client: Abbott Diagnostics Product: CELL-DYN SMS™

Engineering Excellence AusIndustry Innovation Prize


ISO13485, ISO14971, IEC 61000-3-2, CISPR11, EN 61326, UL 61010


Fluidics, Motion, Industrial Design, Usability/HFE, Design for Manufacture, Connectivity & System Integration, Consumable Design

The world’s first automated slide maker and stainer

Stained blood smears are microscopically examined as an aid in diagnosing general infections and blood related disorders such as leukemias and anemia. Abbott Diagnostics approached us to provide turnkey instrument design, development and transfer-to-manufacture services for an integrated system that would automatically smear blood and stain slides.

Our integrated team of scientists, engineers and manufacturing experts developed the CELL-DYN SMS, the first automated slide maker and stainer. The instrument automates all aspects of blood film preparation and combines proven wedge-smear technology with the flexibility of 10 user-definable staining protocols.

We worked closely with Abbott’s team to design, develop and manufacture a sophisticated diagnostic instrument enabling blood samples to be taken from closed specimen tubes and automatically smeared across slides. In addition, the instrument printed patient information on each slide for easy identification.

Following development, the instrument was transferred to our in-house manufacturing facility. For more than 13 years, our ongoing manufacturing and sustaining engineering support has included:

  • Design upgrades, including new feature addition
  • Ongoing product technical knowledge and support
  • Product lifecycle support including proactive obsolescence planning
  • Understanding and proactively implementing regulatory changes throughout the manufacturing process
  • Adapting our production team and facilities to accommodate fluctuating production volumes over time

Major challenges we overcame included:

  • Achieving damage free, high-quality blood smears
  • Meeting rigorous requirements for minimum carryover between patient samples
  • Designing fluidics to achieve high throughput sample processing

We are the sole developer and manufacturer of the CELL-DYN SMS™. Our continued manufacturing assistance over 13 years has ensured the instrument’s reliability in the consistent production of high-quality blood films.

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