Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic as a Tool for the Study of Rheological Characteristics of Red Cells in Patients With Sickle Cell Anaemia

Version 1 : Received: 23 February 2022 / Approved: 25 February 2022 / Online: 25 February 2022 (09:30:03 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

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. 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.

Journal reference: Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 4394
DOI: 10.3390/app12094394

Abstract

Sickle cell disorder (SCD) is a multisystem disease with heterogeneous phenotypes. Although all patients have the mutated haemoglobin (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 SCD patients, visualizing and characterizing the morpho-rheological properties of the cells in normoxic, hypoxic (using of sodium meta-bisulfite) and in 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 morphorheological properties implicated in VOC. 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 re-source-challenged settings.

Keywords

Sickle cell disorder; vaso-occlusive crisis; hydroxyurea; microcirculation; microfluidics; personalized medicine; deformation; transit time.

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Pathology & Pathobiology

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