Assessing the relationship between red blood cell deformability and transfusion lifetime

Blood transfusions have been considered a life-saving therapy and have revolutionized medicine. However, there is growing research indicating that transfusion of stored red blood cells (RBCs) may cause harm rather than benefits to some recipients. These transfusion risks have been attributed to storage-related damage to RBCs, where longer stored samples increase the risk of harm. A potential explanation for reduced RBC quality during storage is its loss of deformability. RBC deformability is integral to its navigation through the body’s microvasculature as cells that are too rigid get trapped during circulation and are targeted for removal. Therefore, we predict that fresher and more deformable red blood cells will last for longer periods in a transfusion recipient.
Recently, we have developed a novel microfluidic deformability-based sorting device that can characterize a donor’s RBC deformability profile. We propose to use this method to determine the relationship between RBC deformability and transfusion lifetime. There is a need for identification of long-lasting transfusion blood for chronic transfusion patients to decrease the frequency of needed transfusions. On the other hand, lower deformability blood can be utilized in acute transfusion patients who just need a blood “top-up,” and can normally produce an adequate blood supply.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
MA, Hongshen
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
University of British Columbia
Graduate Fellowship Program
British Columbia
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