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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 13;8(11):e78732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078732. eCollection 2013.

The effect of factor VIII deficiencies and replacement and bypass therapies on thrombus formation under venous flow conditions in microfluidic and computational models.

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


Clinical evidence suggests that individuals with factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency (hemophilia A) are protected against venous thrombosis, but treatment with recombinant proteins can increase their risk for thrombosis. In this study we examined the dynamics of thrombus formation in individuals with hemophilia A and their response to replacement and bypass therapies under venous flow conditions. Fibrin and platelet accumulation were measured in microfluidic flow assays on a TF-rich surface at a shear rate of 100 s⁻¹. Thrombin generation was calculated with a computational spatial-temporal model of thrombus formation. Mild FVIII deficiencies (5-30% normal levels) could support fibrin fiber formation, while severe (<1%) and moderate (1-5%) deficiencies could not. Based on these experimental observations, computational calculations estimate an average thrombin concentration of ∼10 nM is necessary to support fibrin formation under flow. There was no difference in fibrin formation between severe and moderate deficiencies, but platelet aggregate size was significantly larger for moderate deficiencies. Computational calculations estimate that the local thrombin concentration in moderate deficiencies is high enough to induce platelet activation (>1 nM), but too low to support fibrin formation (<10 nM). In the absence of platelets, fibrin formation was not supported even at normal FVIII levels, suggesting platelet adhesion is necessary for fibrin formation. Individuals treated by replacement therapy, recombinant FVIII, showed normalized fibrin formation. Individuals treated with bypass therapy, recombinant FVIIa, had a reduced lag time in fibrin formation, as well as elevated fibrin accumulation compared to healthy controls. Treatment of rFVIIa, but not rFVIII, resulted in significant changes in fibrin dynamics that could lead to a prothrombotic state.

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