Towards microfluidic-based depletion of stiff and fragile human red cells that accumulate during blood storage†
In this study, the effects of prolonged storage on several biophysical properties of red blood cells (RBCs) were investigated. Single cell deformability was used as an important criterion in determining subgroups of RBCs evolved during storage lesion. A deformability-based microfluidic cell sorting technology was applied, which demonstrates the ability to enrich and separate the less deformable subpopulations of stored blood. These less deformable RBC subpopulations were then associated with other important markers such as osmotic fragility indicating cell integrity as well as microparticle content. This work demonstrates a systematic methodology to both monitor and improve banked blood quality, thereby reducing risks related to blood transfusion.