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Traditional and emerging technologies for washing and volume reducing blood products

Authors Lu M, Lezzar DL, Vörös E, Shevkoplyas SS

Received 4 October 2018

Accepted for publication 6 December 2018

Published 3 January 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 37—46

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JBM.S166316

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin H. Bluth


Madeleine Lu, Dalia L Lezzar, Eszter Vörös, Sergey S Shevkoplyas

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5060, USA

Abstract: Millions of blood components including red blood cells, platelets, and granulocytes are transfused each year in the United States. The transfusion of these blood products may be associated with adverse clinical outcomes in some patients due to residual proteins and other contaminants that accumulate in blood units during processing and storage. Blood products are, therefore, often washed in normal saline or other media to remove the contaminants and improve the quality of blood cells before transfusion. While there are numerous methods for washing and volume reducing blood components, a vast majority utilize centrifugation-based processing, such as manual centrifugation, open and closed cell processing systems, and cell salvage/autotransfusion devices. Although these technologies are widely employed with a relatively low risk to the average patient, there is evidence that centrifugation-based processing may be inadequate when transfusing to immunocompromised patients, neonatal and infant patients, or patients susceptible to transfusion-related allergic reactions. Cell separation and volume reduction techniques that employ centrifugation have been shown to damage blood cells, contributing to these adverse outcomes. The limitations and disadvantages of centrifugation-based processing have spurred the development of novel centrifugation-free methods for washing and volume reducing blood components, thereby causing significantly less damage to the cells. Some of these emerging technologies are already transforming niche applications, poised to enter mainstream blood cell processing in the not too distant future.

Keywords: washing, volume reduction, red blood cells, platelets, granulocytes, transfusion

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