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Publications of the Week

Contractile Forces in Platelet Aggregates under Microfluidic Shear Gradients Reflect Platelet Inhibition and Bleeding Risk

By March 25, 2019No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in Nature Communication led by Dr. Nathan Sniadecki (pictured)
at the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s research focus?

My lab focuses on the biomechanical behavior of human cells in the cardiovascular system, i.e. blood, heart, veins, and arteries. What we are really good at is measuring the forces that these cells enerate when they squeeze together to form a clot or contract to pump blood.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

Our paper showed that in trauma, a patient’s platelets need to be strong in order to stop internal bleeding. By measuring the nanoscale forces that platelets generate in a microfluidic device, we could rapidly measure who has a bleeding risk and whether they should get a transfusion to fix the problem.

What are the next steps for this research?

The next step is to get this technology into the hands of more clinicians at trauma centers across the country. We have spun-out the technology into a company, Stasys Medical, who is working to ramp up the manufacturing process and get the FDA clearance needed for helping patients.

This work was funded by:

This work was funded in part by DARPA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Coulter Foundation, Life Science Discovery Fund, the Washington Research Foundation, and UW’s CoMotion and Institute of Translational Health Sciences.

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