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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54680. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054680. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Sources of variability in platelet accumulation on type 1 fibrillar collagen in microfluidic flow assays.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, United States of America.


Microfluidic flow assays (MFA) that measure shear dependent platelet function have potential clinical applications in the diagnosis and treatment of bleeding and thrombotic disorders. As a step towards clinical application, the objective of this study was to measure how phenotypic and genetic factors, as well as experimental conditions, affect the variability of platelet accumulation on type 1 collagen within a MFA. Whole blood was perfused over type 1 fibrillar collagen at wall shear rates of 150, 300, 750 and 1500 s⁻¹ through four independent channels with a height of 50 µm and a width of 500 µm. The accumulation of platelets was characterized by the lag time to 1% platelet surface coverage (Lag(T)), the rate of platelet accumulation (V(PLT)), and platelet surface coverage (SC). A cohort of normal donors was tested and the results were correlated to plasma von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels, platelet count, hematocrit, sex, and collagen receptors genotypes. VWF levels were the strongest determinant of platelet accumulation. VWF levels were positively correlated to V(PLT) and SC at all wall shear rates. A longer Lag(T) for platelet accumulation at arterial shear rates compared to venous shear rates was attributed to the time required for plasma proteins to adsorb to collagen. There was no association between platelet accumulation and hematocrit or platelet count. Individuals with the AG genotype of the GP6 gene had lower platelet accumulation than individuals with the AA genotype at 150 s⁻¹ and 300 s⁻¹. Recalcified blood collected into sodium citrate and corn trypsin inhibitor (CTI) resulted in diminished platelet accumulation compared to CTI alone, suggesting that citrate irreversibly diminishes platelet function. This study the largest association study of MFA in healthy donors (n = 104) and will likely set up the basis for the determination of the normal range of platelet responses in this type of assay.

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