Detecting HbC Using Simple and Rapid Methods

SLU ID 17-038 | Laboratory Test to Detect Hemoglobin C For Use In Underdeveloped Countries

Intellectual Property Status


  • Not patented
  • Know-how based
  • Licensee
  • Development partner
  • Commercial partner


Hemoglobin C (HbC) is an abnormal hemoglobin. Most people with HbC don't exhibit systems. The condition can lead to several disorders including an enlarged spleen, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, and gallstones. Currently there is no cure for HbC and although it causes mild complications diagnosing and counseling individuals with the variant are important to prevent inheritance. Many countries throughout the world do not test for the condition because current methods are expensive and highly technical.


Researchers at Saint Louis University have developed a laboratory test to detect hemoglobin C in human blood samples. The method was designed to meet the criteria for application in underdeveloped countries. The method is based on the induction of intracellular HbC crystals in red blood cells following incubation in a hypertonic salt solution. The test may also distinguish genotype.


The potential benefits of this technology include:

  • Minimize misdiagnosed HbC
  • Minimize undiagnosed HbC
  • Minimize the need for specialized equipment to diagnose HbC
  • Minimize the cost of diagnosing HbC
  • Minimize the time it takes to diagnose HbC


This technology has potential application in testing for hemoglobin C in underdeveloped countries.


Saint Louis University is seeking partners to further develop and commercialize this technology.