(A Computer vision-based  System to Perform Differential Count of White Blood Cells)

We are a group of inventors working towards developing a computer vision based system that can be used to replace the expensive hematology analyzers and the inefficient manual counting method to produce WBC differential count reports. Team members are Dr. Nuwan Dayananda, Senior Lecturer, Department of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Prof. Indira Silva, Senior Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Iyani N. Kalupahana, Biomedical Engineer, University of Moratuwa, Lokesha R. De Seram, Biomedical Engineer, University of Moratuwa, Dilshan N. Wickramarachchi, Biomedical Engineer, University of Moratuwa and Chinthalanka B. Wijesinghe, Electronic and Telecommunication Engineer, University of Moratuwa.

There are 5 main types of White Blood Cells (WBC) present in the blood and they are Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils, and Basophils. The measure of WBC in the blood is an important indicator of pathological conditions. By determining the differential counts of these WBC, diseases such as microbial infections (virus, bacteria, etc.), leukemia, and other blood related diseases can be diagnosed. In hematology laboratories, manual counting methods and automated analyzer method are used for the differential counting of WBC. The manual counting method is monotonous, laborious and time consuming. Apart from that, static sampling errors and subjective judgment errors also affect the classification accuracy of the manual counting. In automated analyzer methods, the presence of components like nucleated RBC, parasites and platelets lead to misclassifications and affect the WBC count. Furthermore, these devices are expensive and have a higher maintenance cost. Therefore, the CELLBOTIC system is developed to automate the WBC differential count process. CELLBOTIC is a computer vision-based system that can produce WBC differential count reports similar to an expert hematologist. The system consists of a hardware platform that navigates the microscope stage to acquire microscopic images from a blood smear and an algorithm implementation to generate the WBC differential count reports.

We wish to thank the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) for their financial support towards further development of the prototype and guidance in the patent application process. Furthermore, we highly appreciate SLIC’s role in fighting against the COVID-19 virus by supporting technological developments.   

Thank you for inviting us to the program, “Eka Mage Rata” – Inventor-Investor Meetup and giving us the opportunity to discuss about the future potentials and improvements required to develop in the invention. We received valuable feedback from the investors about our invention, “CELLBOTIC – A computer Vision Based System to Perform the Differential Count of White Blood Cells (WBC)”. Investors showed us a big picture of the potential market of our invention and they extended their hands to further develop our invention into a prototype in agricultural side as well. Moreover, they explained us, how we can help patients from this invention during COVID-19 pandemic. We could not have done it without the expert service from Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC). Your help has been invaluable, and we cannot imagine how we would have managed it without your help and support. Again, thank you so much for the great support and guidance.

We, as a team, would appreciate your continuous assistance, and looking forward to continuing the work together with SLIC.