Thrombosis of ventricular assist devices (VADs) compromises their performance, with associated risks of systemic embolization, stroke, pump stop and possible death. Anti-thrombotic (AT) drugs, utilized to limit thrombosis, are largely dosed empirically, with limited testing of their efficacy. Further, such testing, if performed, typically examines efficacy under static conditions, which is not reflective of actual shear-mediated flow. Here we adopted our previously developed Device Thrombogenicity Emulation methodology to design microfluidic platforms able to emulate representative shear stress profiles of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices. Our long-term goal is to utilize these systems for point-of-care (POC) personalized testing of AT efficacy under specific, individual shear profiles. First, we designed different types of microfluidic channels able to replicate sample shear stress patterns observed in MCS devices. Second, we explored the flexibility of microfluidic technology in generating dynamic shear stress profiles by modulating the geometrical features of the channels. Finally, we designed microfluidic channel systems able to emulate the shear stress profiles of two commercial VADs. From CFD analyses, the VAD-emulating microfluidic systems were able to replicate the main characteristics of the shear stress waveforms of the macroscale VADs (i.e., shear stress peaks and duration). Our results establish the basis for development of a lab-on-chip POC system able to perform device-specific and patient-specific platelet activation state assays.
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This publication was made possible by research grant number 2241–2011, from Fondazione Cariplo (AR) and NIH/NIBIB Quantum Award Implementation Phase II-U01 EB012487-0 (DB, MJS). This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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Conflict of interest
A. Dimasi, M. Rasponi, J. Sheriff, W. C. Chiu, M. J. Slepian, and D. Bluestein declare that they have no conflict of interest.