Microfluidic devices to measure the deformability of stored red blood cells

Red blood cells circulate in the bloodstream for approximately 120 days, delivering oxygen to all tissues in the body. One of the key characteristics of red blood cells is their ability to squeeze into capillary blood vessels that are many times smaller than their own diameter. Donated red blood cells, collected by the Canadian Blood Service, are stored for up to 42 days before they are used for transfusions. During this time, the deformability of these cells is degraded, impairing their ability to circulate in capillary blood vessels. As a result, the viability of these cells in transfusion recipients is reduced from 120 days to, in some cases, hours or minutes. Currently, there are no simple methods to routinely measure the quality of stored red blood cells, which limit the ability of biomedical researchers to study current storage practices to improve the effectiveness of blood transfusions. Our research team recently developed simple methods for measuring the deformability of red blood cells from an extremely small volume sample. Our proposal aims to apply these techniques to measure the deformability of stored red blood cell to determine their quality when used in transfusions. We further aim to develop improved devices based on this technique that could be used to routinely measure the quality of stored red blood cells. Successful development of these technologies will help to improve blood storage methods and improve the health of infusion recipients.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
MA, Hongshen
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
SCOTT, Mark D.
University of British Columbia
Canadian Blood Services-CIHR Partnership Operating Grant Program
British Columbia
Total Amount Awarded
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