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Microfluidics and application to biology

par Vincent Démery - publié le , mis à jour le

Microfluidic production of blood platelets

Platelets are small enucleate cells that circulate in blood and are responsible for the arrest of bleeding. They are formed by fragmentation of larger cells called megakaryocytes (MKs). Experiments showed that exposing MKs to shear could enhance platelet production. Mathilde Reyssat has developed a new and rapid method for producing blood platelets in vitro from cultured megakaryocytes based on a microfluidic device. A wide array of specific protein-coated micro-pillars act as anchors on megakaryocytes, which are then subjected to hydrodynamic shear. This in turn induces the elongation of megakaryocytes and finally their rupture into platelets and pro-platelets. For the first time a device is capable of simultaneously handling millions of MKs and leading to their fragmentation into platelets after a simple 2-hour perfusion of MK suspension. This original device is a major breakthrough in the realization of bioreactor dedicated to platelet production.

This project is made thanks to a collaboration with the startup PlatOD.

This work has been patented and published in Scientific Reports :
A. Blin, A. Le Goff, A. Magniez, S. Poirault-Chassac, B. Teste, G. Sicot, K. A. Nguyen, F. S. Hamdi, M. Reyssat, D. Baruch. "Microfluidic model of the platelet-generating organ : beyond bone marrow bio mimetics." Scientific Report. 6 : 21700 (2016)

In order to visualize the cells into a more complex medium, we are currently developing in collaboration with Isabelle Dusanter’s team from Inserm U1016, a way to make the megakaryocytes luminescent.