Platelet Adhesion and Aggregation Assays: Microfluidic assays enable multi-parametric investigation of platelet behaviour under flow.

Analysis of platelet function under flow is requisite to understanding the complex biological relationships contributing to hemostasis and thrombosis.1 The function of platelet receptors and the eventual biological outcome are strongly influenced by fluid shear stress generated by the partially laminar flow of blood in the circulation.2,3 Common in vitro methods used in research laboratories to study platelet biology under conditions of shear flow include light transmission aggregometers, cone and plate viscometers, perfusion chambers and more recently, microfluidic flow (perfusion chambers) cells.

Perfusion devices, such as parallel plate flow chambers (PPFC) and microfluidic devices, allow similar real-time insight into the dynamic process of platelet adhesion and aggrega- tion behavior. However, with traditional PPFC, a large blood volume is required and the experimental throughput is especially low (1-2 conditions per hour). This precludes certain experiment types such as murine studies and studies from a single donor that must be performed very quickly after blood collection. The low throughput also prevents the use of a standard parallel-plate flow chamber for population studies.