Biomedical science collaboration with the Leicester Royal Infirmary

Over the summer the biomedical science staff within the HALS team have been busy preparing new open educational resources for release onto this website, and also brand new resources to greet our new Biomedical Science and Medical Science students at De Montfort.   One of the most exciting projects has been a collaboration with the Leicester Royal Infirmary “Pathology Department”, and we’ve worked with the histologists, biochemists and haematologists on a wealth of material.



“Fast Track” Haematology Analyser

Meet “Fast Track”!

“Fast Track” is one of the largest automated blood analysers in Europe. Made by Siemens, it processes millions of patient blood samples each year from all over Leicestershire, and sometimes from around the UK. We have a series of open educational resources about the machine, but I just couldn’t resist setting it to music first!


Why do we need more biomedical science resources?

This open educational resource is important because it is one of a series all about the high-tec automated blood analyser found in the hospital. The machine, made by Siemens who are happy for us to film and make these resources, processes millions of blood samples every year in a fully automated way. These resources are the only way of showing our biomedical science students the state-of-the art equipment being used in hospital laboratories today, and in fact, the resources will be available to all science students across the UK via YouTube and our website. The resources are also being used by trainee biomedical scientists working in the hospital.

Who operates the machine?

In the Haematology Laboratory, a large team of biomedical scientists work on the machine, and analyse data and report back to hospital departments and GPs the millions of patient test results every year. Behind the scenes there are additional biomedical science staff sorting the samples that arrive at the hospital from all over the region. The blood samples arrive in the lab and are bar coded and logged onto a computer system. The machine operates fully 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year with teams of scientists working in shifts. They ensure the machine is in good working order, carry out quality control checks on each of the analysing stations, and oversee the interpretation and reporting of the patient test results.


What biomedical science haematology resources are coming next?

This is the first of a series of videos that the scientists have made to explain how the haematology laboratory operates and what tests the machine performs. We have been very privileged to have two senior biomedical scientists who specialise in haematology and biochemistry be involved in the project, and a huge thank you goes to them, all the staff and the laboratory manager and head of pathology services.

The next biomedical science resources in this series will talk about how samples are received and sorted; the different haematology tests including blood smear for microscopy, coagulation and cell counts; the different blood biochemistry tests, and finally, how samples are stored after analysis.


Biomedical Science and How to Use a Pipette

Biomedical science pipetting
Image: Microscopy open educational resources.
Creative Commons BY SA.

Content Authors:                     Level:

Dr Graham Basten                                 School, College, University, General interest

OER Features: (bundle of 7 resources)

Biomedical science resources: Different Types of Pipette

Biomedical science resources: Pi-Pump Pipette

Biomedical science resources: Micropipettes

Transcript of videos PDF file

Transcript of videos Word file

Multiple choice quiz PDF file

Multiple choice quiz Word file

OER Description:

In the biomedical science laboratory, the pipette is a fundamental piece of equipment that is used routinely for the dispensing of liquids, and pipetting is a skill that takes time to acquire and perfect. There are very few procedures in the laboratory that do not require the addition of a liquid or a solution at some point, from applying stains in histology, to carrying out a spectrophotometer assay.

There are several different types of pipette and each is used in a different situation. You might only require a quick and rough application of a liquid for example to wash a stain off a histology glass slide, so a plastic pipette would suffice. However, if you were performing an assay that was going to give you accurate numbers for the concentration of say glucose in the blood, then a more accurate type of pipette such as a micropipette would be required. Other procedures for example genetic techniques might require the pipetting of tiny amounts would also require very small volume micropipettes to use.

These OERs are a series of 3 videos by Dr Graham Basten explaining the three different type of pipettes and when it is appropriate to use them in the biomedical science laboratory. The other resources include a full transcript of all 3 videos and a short set of multiple choice questions written by Biomedical Science students for release as open educational resources (OERs).

Biomedical Science Laboratory Photographs

Image: Laboratory safety open educational resources
Creative Commons BY-SA (3.0)

Content Authors:                            Level:

Dr Viv Rolfe                                                       School, College, University, General interest

OER Features:

Laboratory safety photo gallery on Flickr

Spectrophotometry photo gallery on Flickr

Microbiology photo gallery on Flickr


OER Description:

We have uploaded three sets of biomedical science laboratory photographs onto FLICKR for your use and reuse.

The first is a set of images relating to laboratory safety. In the lab the understanding and compliance of health and safety procedures is hugely important for the safety of the individual and others working there. Here is a bundle of photographs illustrating safety signage, protective equipment and waste disposal equipment that you can use and reuse in either your own studies or to compile your own educational resources.

The second set relates to the use of the spectrophotometer and illustrations of a simple assay that we conducted as part of one of our other open educational resources. The photographs for example illustrate how to correctly place a cuvette into the machine, obtain readings, and how to prepare the relevant samples for an assay including a blank, standards of known concentrations and unknown samples.

The final set is relating to microbiology.

Feel free to use these biomedical science resources under the following Creative Commons license terms:

BY – by means please attribute us – De Montfort University HALSOER Project

SA – means if you adapt, crop or alter the images, please share alike – or share back what you have developed.