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ACS Nano. 2013 Dec 23;7(12):11227-33. doi: 10.1021/nn405016y. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Magnetic nanosensor for detection and profiling of erythrocyte-derived microvesicles.

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Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital , 185 Cambridge Street, CPZN 5206, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, United States.


During the course of their lifespan, erythrocytes actively shed phospholipid-bound microvesicles (MVs). In stored blood, the number of these erythrocyte-derived MVs has been observed to increase over time, suggesting their potential value as a quality metric for blood products. The lack of sensitive, standardized MV assays, however, poses a significant barrier to implementing MV analyses into clinical settings. Here, we report on a new nanotechnology platform capable of rapid and sensitive MV detection in packed red blood cell (pRBC) units. A filter-assisted microfluidic device was designed to enrich MVs directly from pRBC units, and label them with target-specific magnetic nanoparticles. Subsequent detection using a miniaturized nuclear magnetic resonance system enabled accurate MV quantification as well as the detection of key molecular markers (CD44, CD47, CD55). When the developed platform was applied, MVs in stored blood units could also be monitored longitudinally. Our results showed that MV counts increase over time and, thus, could serve as an effective metric of blood aging. Furthermore, our studies found that MVs have the capacity to generate oxidative stress and consume nitric oxide. By advancing our understanding of MV biology, we expect that the developed platform will lead to improved blood product quality and transfusion safety.

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