Perfusion Chambers

Since their original description, perfusion techniques have been most helpful in the understanding of the basic roles of plasma adhesive proteins and platelet membrane glycoproteins in adhesion and aggregation of platelets onto damaged vessel wall. Moreover, perfusion models, either in annular or flat chambers provide an useful tool to test the effects of antiplatelet drugs on platelet adhesive and cohesive functions. The main objective of perfusion devices is to maintain a laminar flow thus simulating conditions that can be found in the bloodstream.

  • Annular Chamber Perfusion System: in the original technique, anticoagulated blood is recirculated through an annular tube of plexiglas that contains an everted rabbit aorta segment previously denuded of endothelium. Using morphological criteria, adhered and aggregated platelets, and even fibrin network, could be differentiated and quantified by means of morphometric procedures (Samip-f software).
  • Flat Chamber Perfusion System: also known as parallel chamber, basically it consists of two parallel plates of plexiglas limiting an internal rectangular channel. One of the plates has been devised to adapt one or two coverslips that can be coated with purified proteins or extracellular matrices produced by cells in culture. Blood circulating through the internal channel interacts with the coating of the coverslip. Interacting platelets can be quantied by means of digital image analysis.

The following animations are available for details:

 Annular Chamber Perfusion System

 Flat Chamber Perfusion System

Left panel: A two-knob flat chamber perfusion device. Right panel: scheme of the endothelial cell culture process to obtain extracellular matrix for perfusion studies. Click on pictures to enlarge (For image uses, please see Use of Content at Legal Information).

Microfluidic systems

Multichannel chambers coated with adhesive proteins (collagens, tissue factor, alone or in combination), which are exposed to small blood volumes. Cell adhesion and fibrin formation are detected by using specific antibodies conjugated with fluorocroms, fluorescence and/or confocal microscopy and image analysis for quantification.

 

Total thrombus–formation analysis system (T-TAS)

T-TAS is a microchip-based flow chamber system that mimics in vivo conditions for evaluating whole blood thrombogenicity. Chips are design to evaluate primary hemostasis or hemostasis (primary and secondary), in samples with normal cell counts and also in thrombocytopenic samples.

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