Constricted Microfluidic Devices to Study the Effects of Transient High Shear Exposure on Platelets


Due to the critical roles that platelets play in thrombosis during many biological and pathological events, altered platelet function may be a key contributor to altered hemostasis, leading to both thrombotic and hemorrhagic complications. Platelet adhesion at arterial shear rates occurs through binding to von Willebrand Factor via the glycoprotein (GP) GPIb receptor. GPIb binding can induce platelet activation distinguishable by P-selectin (CD62P) surface expression and α(IIb)β₃ activation, resulting in platelet aggregation and formation of the primary hemostatic plug to stop bleeding. Previous studies have used cone and plate viscometers to examine pathologic blood flow conditions, applied shear rates that are relatively low, and examined exposure times that are orders of magnitude longer compared to conditions present in ventricular assist devices, mechanical heart valves, or pathologic states such as stenotic arteries. Here, we evaluate the effect of short exposure to high shear on granule release and receptor shedding utilizing a constricted microfluidic device in conjunction with flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In this study, platelets were first perfused through microfluidic channels capable of producing shear rates of 80 000-100 000 s⁻¹ for exposure times of 0-73 ms. We investigated platelet activation by measuring the expression level of CD62P (soluble and surface expressed), platelet factor 4 (PF4), and beta-thromboglobulin (βTG). In addition, we measured potential platelet receptor shedding of GPVI and GPIb using flow cytometry. The results showed that a single pass to high shear with short exposure times (milliseconds) had no effect on the levels of CD62P, GPVI and GPIb, or on the release of alpha granule content (PF4, βTG, and sP-selectin). Published by AIP Publishing.


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Von Willebrand factor, Heart-Assist Devices, Glycoproteins, Heart-valves, In Vitro Techniques, Stress (Physiology), Blood platelets--Aggregation

"Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21HL115601 and R21HL132286."


©2017 American Institute of Physics