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Article

Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic as a Tool for the Study of Rheological Characteristics of Red Blood Cells in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia

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Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Calabar, Calabar 540001, Nigeria
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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Calabar, Calabar 540001, Nigeria
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Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
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Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
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Biostatistics Unit, Department of Community Medicine, University of Calabar, Calabar 540001, Nigeria
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Department of Physics, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
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Joseph Ukpo Hospitals and Research Institutes (JUHRI), Afua Site, Ibiono Ibom 520115, Nigeria
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Biotechnology Centre, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregory Barshtein
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 4394; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094394
Received: 23 February 2022 / Revised: 23 April 2022 / Accepted: 24 April 2022 / Published: 27 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering)
Sickle cell disorder (SCD) is a multisystem disease with heterogeneous phenotypes. Although all patients have the mutated hemoglobin (Hb) in the SS phenotype, the severity and frequency of complications are variable. When exposed to low oxygen tension, the Hb molecule becomes dense and forms tactoids, which lead to the peculiar sickled shapes of the affected red blood cells, giving the disorder its name. This sickle cell morphology is responsible for the profound and widespread pathologies associated with this disorder, such as vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC). How much of the clinical manifestation is due to sickled erythrocytes and what is due to the relative contributions of other elements in the blood, especially in the microcapillary circulation, is usually not visualized and quantified for each patient during clinical management. Here, we used a microfluidic microcirculation mimetic (MMM), which has 187 capillary-like constrictions, to impose deformations on erythrocytes of 25 SCD patients, visualizing and characterizing the morpho-rheological properties of the cells in normoxic, hypoxic (using sodium meta-bisulfite) and treatment conditions (using hydroxyurea). The MMM enabled a patient-specific quantification of shape descriptors (circularity and roundness) and transit time through the capillary constrictions, which are readouts for morpho-rheological properties implicated in VOC. Transit times varied significantly (p < 0.001) between patients. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of microfluidics-based monitoring of individual patients for personalized care in the context of SCD complications such as VOC, even in resource-constrained settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: sickle cell disorder; vaso-occlusive crisis; hydroxyurea; microcirculation; microfluidics; personalized medicine; deformation; transit time sickle cell disorder; vaso-occlusive crisis; hydroxyurea; microcirculation; microfluidics; personalized medicine; deformation; transit time
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MDPI and ACS Style

Asuquo, M.I.; Effa, E.; Gbotosho, O.; Otu, A.; Toepfner, N.; Ameh, S.; Bhayankaram, S.-P.; Zetocha, N.; Nwakama, C.; Egbe, W.; Guck, J.; Ekpenyong, A. Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic as a Tool for the Study of Rheological Characteristics of Red Blood Cells in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia. Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 4394. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094394

AMA Style

Asuquo MI, Effa E, Gbotosho O, Otu A, Toepfner N, Ameh S, Bhayankaram S-P, Zetocha N, Nwakama C, Egbe W, Guck J, Ekpenyong A. Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic as a Tool for the Study of Rheological Characteristics of Red Blood Cells in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia. Applied Sciences. 2022; 12(9):4394. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094394

Chicago/Turabian Style

Asuquo, Marcus I., Emmanuel Effa, Oluwabukola Gbotosho, Akaninyene Otu, Nicole Toepfner, Soter Ameh, Sruti-Prathivadhi Bhayankaram, Noah Zetocha, Chisom Nwakama, William Egbe, Jochen Guck, and Andrew Ekpenyong. 2022. "Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic as a Tool for the Study of Rheological Characteristics of Red Blood Cells in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia" Applied Sciences 12, no. 9: 4394. https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094394

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