Slide lamp for blood group determination

A simple design to study blood reactions

Technical file

Type of innovation: Device

Scope: Clinical Analysis

Innovation leader: Grifols i Lucas, Víctor Grifols i Lucas, Josep Antoni

Year: 1950

Period: 1909-1971

Geographical scope: Spain

Economic impact: Medium

Level of innovation: Evolutionary

Patent: No

Interdisciplinary connections: -

There are different methods to determine blood groups and the Rh factor, and one of the most popular during the first half of the twentieth century was the slide method, still used today.

It's a straightforward technique. A sample of the red blood cells to be analyzed is mixed on a slide with the specific antisera of each group, to observe whether or not there is agglutination and, therefore, whether the blood belongs to one or another type.

The sample, however, had to be mixed well with the antisera and brought to a temperature of approximately 40 degrees centigrade, which was achieved using the heat provided by a lamp.

“Victor Grifols i Lucas developed a lamp with a tilting curved design which allowed for samples to be shaken and mixed more easily… heated the slides to the required temperature… and allowed for better observation of reactions.”

A lamp with added innovations

In 1950, Victor Grifols i Lucas developed a lamp specifically designed for the job. Its tilting curved design allowed for samples to be shaken and mixed more easily, making the device more convenient to use. Slides could be placed on top of the lamp, which heated them to the required temperature. In addition, the lamp's opal glass allowed for a better observation of the agglutination reactions.

Víctor Grifols developed different models of the device over several years, incorporating a thermostat to control the working temperature more accurately into a later design. Other versions had allowed the user to vary the intensity of light via a rheostat, which made it possible to adjust the temperature of the sample.


  • Grifols-Lucas, J.A. (1953). Curso práctico de Rh por correspondencia. Barcelona: Hemobanco de Laboratorios Grifols, S.A.
  • Gri-Cel, S.A. [ca. 1960]. Aparatos científicos. [Sales brochure]. Barcelona: Gri-Cel, S.A.
  • Race, R.R., & Sanger, R. (1975). Blood Groups in Man. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publishers.
  • Issit, P.D. (1985). Applied Blood Group Serology. Florida: Montgomery Scientific Publications.
  • Grifols-Lucas, V. (2009). Amb un suro i un cordill. Vivències d'un empresari de postguerra. Barcelona: Grupo Grifols, S.A.
  • Avellà, R., & Miquel, B. (Eds.). (2015). Cuando un sueño se cumple. Crónica ilustrada de 75 años de Grifols. Barcelona: Grupo Grifols, S.A.