How to make a blood smear


Leicester Royal Infirmary Staff


College, University, Specialist Biomedical

OER FEATURES: (video part of a bundle of 10 resources)


One of the biomedical science staff at the Leicester Royal Infirmary shows how to make a blood smear. Such techniques are vital for the diagnosis of blood diseases and slides will be prepared and stained for viewing under a microscope.

More blood science materials can be found on our Virtual Analytical Laboratory website:

Biomedical Science Technique – Lactophenol Cotton Blue (LPCB)


Malgorzata Rekas and Marilena Ioannou


College, University, Specialist Biomedical

OER FEATURES: (bundle of 5 resources)

Biomedical science resources: Video

Transcript of Lactophenol Cotton Blue Video (DOC)

Transcript of Lactophenol Cotton Blue Video (PDF)

Multiple Choice Questions on LPCB (DOC)

Multiple Choice Questions on LPCB (PDF)


In the biomedical science laboratory, the identification of fungus is a standard microbiological technique. Often, the lactophenol cotton blue (LPCB) technique is carried out to provide a quick and easy method of staining fungi. Slides are prepared using special dyes and stains and are then observed under the light microscope. Samples of fungi can be grown in Petri dishes. Using an aseptic technique, fungal samples can be transferred onto a slide and stained with the dye.

The fungal structures are teased out using two sterile needles so that they can be viewed and identified under the microscope. Simply, a glass coverslip is placed on the slide and it is viewed wet under the microscope. The architecture of the filaments and fungal spores helps identify the type of fungus.

This is a typical microbiology technique performed in biomedical science laboratories to determine the presence of fungus in biological tissues.

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.