Microfluidic disturbances and their impact on platelet aggregation

Tovar Lopez, F 2011, Microfluidic disturbances and their impact on platelet aggregation, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Microfluidic disturbances and their impact on platelet aggregation
Author(s) Tovar Lopez, F
Year 2011
Abstract Multi-disciplinary areas of research like biomechanics or mechanobiology is providing new insights, perspective and scientific frameworks to better understand complex biophysical processes. A particularly interesting bio-physical process is blood clotting. The mechanical aspects of blood flow and its impact on blood cell responses are not well understood, but can be studied from a robust perspective through the implementation of different engineering tools including computational simulations, experiments, and microtechnologies.
The aim of this thesis was to gain insight into the haemodynamics on experiments recently performed in-vivo on mice and in-vitro using capillaries in blood flow. Using this insight a micro-fluidic platform tailored to study the mechanical effects driving blood platelet aggregation independent of biochemical triggers was developed. Detailed account of the haemodynamics of in-vivo and in-vitro experiments are presented as well as the design, fabrication, characterisation of a microfluidic platform that utilizes microcontractions to test blood dynamics under different scenarios of dynamic strain-rates. The microfludics platform was characterized using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and micro-Particle Image Velocimetry. New proof-of-concept blood perfusion experiments that illustrate the versatility of the device are also presented. The newly created platform has been instrumental in elucidating a new mechanism of platelet aggregation that occurs independent of the commonly accepted soluble agonist mediated pathways[1].
The main contribution of this work was building evidence through simulations and the fabrication of a microfluidic platforms to support the claim that with the chemical mechanisms of aggregation blocked, dynamic strain-rates produced by a micro-contraction, are able to produce platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. The microfluidics platform presented facilitates the detailed analysis of the effects of haemodynamics parameters on the rate and extent of platelet aggregation and will be a useful tool to elucidate the haemodynamics and platelet mechano-transduction mechanisms, underlying this mechanicaldependent process.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Electrical and Computer Engineering
Keyword(s) Microfluidics
platelet aggregation
computational fluid dynamics
particle image velocimetry
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Created: Fri, 06 Jun 2014, 14:59:09 EST by Keely Chapman
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