Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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SURFAL – Device for sampling the ocular surface via imprinting

CytologyDiagnosticsimprintingOcular surfacesampling


Device and methodology for sampling and analysis of the ocular surface using impression cytology. Sampling can be both manual and assisted. The device used is ergonomic and with a stable and easy-to-grasp handle, which increases the precision and the procedure allowing the storage of biological material.

Technical features

Current  techniques are essentially based on the manual skill of the medical specialist and have some disadvantages, such as the reduction of the  field of vision and the need to perform sampling several times, frequently producing slight lacerations. The device solves aims to solve some of the limitations encountered in the current sampling techniques, by increasing the efficiency of the procedure, compensating for hand-tremors, increasing sampling accuracy, reducing intervention time, all the while allowing the simultaneous storage of the biological material.

The device, which includes a working prototype, comprises two elements:

  1. A first element of elongated shape characterised by a hollow end suitable to host a membrane for ocular sampling;
  2. A second element characterized by guiding means to allow, thanks to elastic means, a relative sliding with the first element.

The device also includes a kit for biochemical analysis of ocular samples and a support structure.

Possible Applications

  • Ophthalmology, Dentist, Cosmetics, Dermatology, Agro-food and Veterinary.


  • Easy of use and non-invasive;
  • Accurate biochemical and molecular analysis;
  • Quick and safe screening;
  • Prompt pharmacological response and quick therapeutic application;
  • Well tolerated by the patient.