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Continuous removal of glycerol from frozen-thawed red blood cells in a microfluidic membrane device



Continuous removal of glycerol from frozen-thawed red blood cells in a microfluidic membrane device



Biomicrofluidics 8(5): 054124



Cryopreservation of human red blood cells (RBCs) in the presence of 40% glycerol allows a shelf-life of 10 years, as opposed to only 6 weeks for refrigerated RBCs. Nonetheless, cryopreserved blood is rarely used in clinical therapy, in part because of the requirement for a time-consuming (∼1 h) post-thaw wash process to remove glycerol before the product can be used for transfusion. The current deglycerolization process involves a series of saline washes in an automated centrifuge, which gradually removes glycerol from the cells in order to prevent osmotic damage. We recently demonstrated that glycerol can be extracted in as little as 3 min without excessive osmotic damage if the composition of the extracellular solution is precisely controlled. Here, we explore the potential for carrying out rapid glycerol extraction using a membrane-based microfluidic device, with the ultimate goal of enabling inline washing of cryopreserved blood. To assist in experimental design and device optimization, we developed a mass transfer model that allows prediction of glycerol removal, as well as the resulting cell volume changes. Experimental measurements of solution composition and hemolysis at the device outlet are in reasonable agreement with model predictions, and our results demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the glycerol concentration by more than 50% in a single device without excessive hemolysis. Based on these promising results, we present a design for a multistage process that is predicted to safely remove glycerol from cryopreserved blood in less than 3 min.

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Accession: 057500967

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25538811

DOI: 10.1063/1.4900675


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