, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 987-1000
Date: 23 Jul 2010

Microfluidic device to study arterial shear-mediated platelet-surface interactions in whole blood: reduced sample volumes and well-characterised protein surfaces

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We report a novel device to analyze cell-surface interactions under controlled fluid-shear conditions on well-characterised protein surfaces. Its performance is demonstrated by studying platelets interacting with immobilised von Willebrand Factor at arterial vascular shear rates using just 200 μL of whole human blood per assay. The device’s parallel-plate flow chamber, with 0.1 mm2 cross sectional area and height-to-width ratio of 1:40, provides uniform, well-defined shear rates along the chip surface with negligible vertical wall effects on the fluid flow profile while minimizing sample volumetric flow. A coating process was demonstrated by ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescent immunostaining to provide reproducible, homogeneous, uniform protein layers over the 0.7 cm2 cell-surface interaction area. Customized image processing quantifies dynamic cellular surface coverage vs. time throughout the whole-blood-flow assay for a given drug treatment or disease state. This device can track the dose response of anti-platelet drugs, is suitable for point-of-care diagnostics, and is designed for adaptation to mass manufacture.