Alterations in red blood cell deformability during storage: a microfluidic approach
SourceBiomed Research International, 2014, (2014), pp. 764268
Article / Letter to editor
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Physical Organic Chemistry
Biomed Research International
SubjectPhysical Organic Chemistry; Radboudumc 0: Other Research DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 0: Other Research RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 19: Nanomedicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Red blood cells (RBCs) undergo extensive deformation when travelling through the microcapillaries. Deformability, the combined result of properties of the membrane-cytoskeleton complex, the surface area-to-volume ratio, and the hemoglobin content, is a critical determinant of capillary blood flow. During blood bank storage and in many pathophysiological conditions, RBC morphology changes, which has been suggested to be associated with decreased deformability and removal of RBC. While various techniques provide information on the rheological properties of stored RBCs, their clinical significance is controversial. We developed a microfluidic approach for evaluating RBC deformability in a physiologically meaningful and clinically significant manner. Unlike other techniques, our method enables a high-throughput determination of changes in deformation capacity to provide statistically significant data, while providing morphological information at the single-cell level. Our data show that, under conditions that closely mimic capillary dimensions and flow, the capacity to deform and the capacity to relax are not affected during storage in the blood bank. Our data also show that altered cell morphology by itself does not necessarily affect deformability.
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