Scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have developed a scalable, next-generation platelet bioreactor to generate fully functional human platelets in vitro. The work is a major biomedical advancement that will help address blood transfusion needs worldwide.
The bioreactor—a device that mimics a biological environment to carry out a reaction on an industrial scale—uses biologically inspired engineering to fully integrate the major components of bone marrow, modeling both its composition and blood flow characteristics. The microfluidic platelet bioreactor recapitulates features such as bone marrow stiffness, extracellular matrix composition, micro-channel size, and blood flow stability under high-resolution live-cell microscopy to make human platelets.
Application of shear forces of blood flow in the bioreactor triggered a dramatic increase in platelet initiation from 10 percent to 90 percent, leading to functional human platelets.
Scientists successfully generate human platelets using next-generation bioreactor
Image credits: science magazine