Platelet adhesion, aggregation, and embolism on artificial surfaces in non-parallel blood flow

Abstract

When using artificial surfaces that come into contact with the bloodstream, it is important to consider the undesirable consequences of thrombus formation and embolization. Although great progress has been made by creating new surfaces and antithrombotic coatings or evaluating flow conditions, unexpected platelet adhesion and aggregation can lead to the sudden formation of an adverse thrombus. Our experiments in a stagnation point flow chamber with citrate-anticoagulated whole blood and ADP-stimulated platelets mimicked the situations of implanted artificial organs, e.g., mechanical circulatory support devices, or extravascular circulation. With video microscopy, real-time platelet characteristics were observed at shear rate levels between 50 and 500 s−1 on glass, von Willebrand factor, and polyurethane surfaces for at least 5 min after the first contact. Platelet adhesion and aggregation were observed with distinctness in aggregate size, surface coverage, aggregate size, probability of an embolic event, and platelet contraction. The probability of an embolic event increased at lower flow rates. Additionally, platelet contraction was affected by the flow rate. Raising the flow rate intensified the platelet contraction. With this setup, the microembolization caused by surface contact and flow and platelet contraction can be detected in a real-time direct observation. This capability addresses both technical and clinical issues, such as thrombus and embolus formation, and may improve the research on the hemocompatibility of biomaterials.

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Abbreviations

ADP:

Adenosine diphosphate

BSA:

Bovine serum albumin

CFD:

Computational fluid dynamics

KCl:

Potassium chloride

MCSD:

Mechanical circulatory support devices

NaCl:

Sodium chloride

NaH2PO4 :

Sodium dihydrogen phosphate

PBS:

Phosphate-buffered saline

PPACK:

H-D-Phe-Pro-Arg-chloromethylketone trifluoroacetate

PRP:

Platelet-rich plasma

VWF:

von Willebrand factor

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank their colleagues from the thrombocyte transfusion service from the Department of Transfusion Medicine of the Medical Center of the University of Munich for their kind help with the blood collection. This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) [Grant Number GZ: RE 1293/5—1].

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Correspondence to Thorsten Kragh.

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Kragh, T., Schaller, J., Kertzscher, U. et al. Platelet adhesion, aggregation, and embolism on artificial surfaces in non-parallel blood flow. Microfluid Nanofluid 19, 155–167 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10404-015-1557-5

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Keywords

  • Stagnation point flow
  • Platelet contraction
  • Carbothane
  • Pellethane
  • Hemocompatibility
  • Flow chamber