Screening of Bilirubin level

Screening of Bilirubin Level in New-Borns

S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata develops a “No-touch” & “Painless” device for non-invasive screening of bilirubin level in new-borns.

Screening of Bilirubin Level in New-Borns

Top Current Affairs 30th July 2020

Source | Press Information Bureau


GS Paper III: Awareness in Field of Science & Technology.



Screening of Bilirubin level

Key Takeaways

  • Bilirubin is a yellowish substance in your blood.
  • It forms after red blood cells break down, and it travels through your liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract before being excreted.
  • Bilirubin levels fall somewhere between 0.3 and 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Anything above 1.2 mg/dL is usually considered high.

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Context: In a recent achievement, S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata develops a “No-touch” & “Painless” device for non-invasive screening of bilirubin level in new-borns.

  • The Technology has been transferred by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise of DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.


What is Bilirubin?

Bilirubin is a yellowish substance in your blood. It forms after red blood cells break down, and it travels through your liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract before being excreted.

Typically, bilirubin levels fall somewhere between 0.3 and 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Anything above 1.2 mg/dL is usually considered high.

  • Many babies are also born with high bilirubin, causing a condition called newborn jaundice. This causes yellow-tinted skin and eyes. It happens because, at birth, the liver often isn’t yet fully able to process bilirubin.
  • This is a temporary condition that usually resolves on its own within a few weeks.

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What is the need of screening of bilirubin level in new-borns?

Careful screening of bilirubin level in new-borns is mandatory as per American Academy of Paediatrics (2004), to reduce incidents of a type of brain damage called kernicterus that can result from high levels of bilirubin in a baby’s blood.

Although invasive capillary collection of blood and the subsequent biochemical test is considered a gold standard for jaundice detection in neonates, transcutaneous bilirubin measurement using non-invasive instruments has obvious added advantages.

It has to be noted that detection of neonatal blood bilirubin (Hyperbilirubinemia) faster is extremely important for therapeutic management in order to avoid Kernicterus leading to Neuo-psychiatry problems in neonatal subjects. AJO-Neo also shows several advantages compared to other similar imported devices in the market.

About the new Device for Screening of Bilirubin Level in New-Borns

The device called “AJO-Neo” is developed by Professor Samir K. Pal & his group at S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata, an autonomous research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

  • The institute is also hosting one of the Technical Research Centres (TRC) funded by DST and in scientific collaboration with Nil-Ratan Sircar (NRS) Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata.
  • The operation of the device is based on non-contact and non-invasive spectrometry-based techniques for measurement of neonatal bilirubin level as an alternative of total serum bilirubin (TSB) test without limitations of other available bilirubin meters.
  • The device is found to deliver an almost instantaneous report (about 10 seconds) to a concerned doctor, who is sitting 10000 km away from the point of care.
  • This is a significant achievement compared to the conventional “blood test” method, which may take more than 4 hours to generate the report.

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