Accurate assessment of blood haemostasis is essential for the management of patients who use extracorporeal devices, receive anticoagulation therapy or experience coagulopathies.
However, current monitoring devices do not measure effects of haemodynamic forces that contribute significantly to platelet function and thrombus formation.
Scientists describe a microfluidic device that mimics a network of stenosed arteriolar vessels, permitting evaluation of blood clotting within small sample volumes under pathophysiological flow.
By applying a clotting time analysis based on a phenomenological mathematical model of thrombus formation, coagulation and platelet function can be accurately measured in vitro in patient blood samples.
When the device is integrated into an extracorporeal circuit in pig endotoxemia or heparin therapy models, it produces real-time readouts of alterations in coagulation ex vivo that are more reliable than standard clotting assays.
Thus, this disposable device may be useful for personalized diagnostics and for real-time surveillance of antithrombotic therapy in clinic.