Blood Product Manufacturing and Quality Assessment
Our group is developing new approaches for the optimal manufacturing and storage of red blood cell components. Refrigerated storage slows down the "aging" of red blood cells by suppressing cellular functions, but unfortunately it does not completely prevent it. The decline in quality of refrigerated red blood cells is linked to changes that occur in the cell membrane. We have developed a method that uses liposomes to stabilize the membranes of stored red blood cells. Liposomes are microscopic hollow spherical fat droplets that can be manufactured easily. We are currently performing experiments in animal models to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of liposome treated red blood cells. We are also looking at other factors that may affect red blood cell quality such as the donor age and sex, blood manufacturing method, gamma-irradiation, cell washing, cryopreservation and transportation under extreme conditions.
Why is it important? Optimizing the quality of stored red blood cells is essential to provide patients with an effective blood component. By understanding how donor factors and blood collection and manufacturing influences product quality, it allows blood operators the ability to improve the efficiency and safety of blood component manufacturing.
Jordan A, Chen D, Yi Q-L, Kanias T, Gladwin MT, Acker JP: Using blood bank quality control data to analyse manufacturing and donor variability. Vox Sang 2015; In Press.
Acker JP, Hansen AL, Yi Q-L, Sondi N, Csert-Gazdewich C, Pendergast J, Hannach B: Introduction of a closed system cell processor: Post-implementation monitoring of safety and efficacy. Transfusion 2016; doi: 10.1111/trf.13341 [Epub ahead of print].
Hansen AL, Kurach JD, Turner TR, Jenkins C, Busch MP, Norris PJ, Dugger J, Tomasulo PA, Devine DV, Acker JP: The effect of processing method on the in vitro characteristics of red blood cell products. Vox Sang 2015; 108:350-358.
Our group is interested in addressing some of the issues associated with cryopreservation and desiccation processes in the large-scale environment of a blood operator. Cryopreservation, a process whereby biological function is maintained by freezing and storing at ultra-low subzero temperatures, can be used to extend the storage time of blood cells.
Blood cell cryopreservation remains an expensive procedure that requires highly trained technicians and specialized equipment making it logistically prohibitive for routine use in large-scale operations. Our group is developing novel methodologies to address these challenges. Our work focuses on the development of strategies for the introduction of protective amounts of intracellular protectants into human blood cells and the effect of novel ice recrystallization inhibitors. We are also working to better understand the effects of desiccation and dry storage on red blood cell structure, function and quality. Such advances may revolutionize the way we store blood products in the future.
Capicciotti CJ, Tchir J, Turner T, Mancini RS, Acker JP, Ben RN: Small Ice Recrystallization Inhibitors Enable Freezing of Human Red Blood Cells with Reduced Glycerol Concentrations. NatSci Rep 2015; 5:9692.
Our group is developing novel, cost-effective, automated devices for blood testing. Why is it important? This new technology has the potential to change how blood operators perform tests on blood products to ensure the safety of the blood supply and reduce the costs of tests. We use tools developed for the microelectronics industry to fabricate micro-scale devices for integrated chemical and biological processing and analysis. In particular we have developed a lab-on-chip for malaria diagnosis and surveillance.