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Characterizing blood microparticles: Technical aspects and challenges

Authors Arun S Shet

Published 8 August 2008 Volume 2008:4(4) Pages 769—774


Arun S Shet

Department of Medicine, St. Johns Medical College and Hospital, St. Johns National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India

Abstract: Although long considered to be cellular debris, microparticles (MPs) are more recently considered refl ective of cellular stimulation, activation, and degeneration/apoptosis. MPs that arise from the cellular components of blood and the endothelial lining of blood vessels are referred to as blood MPs and by general consensus are small (≤1.5 μm), expose the anionic phospholipid (PL) phosphatidylserine (PS) on the outer leaflet of their membrane, and bear surface membrane antigens refl ecting their cellular origin. This brief review summarizes the different approaches used by several groups to study blood MPs. The aim of this article is to review the technical aspects of characterizing the morphological and functional properties of blood MPs with emphasis on the preanalytical and analytical variables involved in these studies.

Keywords: microparticles, flow cytometry, techniques

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