It’s no secret that blood transfusions save millions of lives every year. According to the American Red Cross, just one pint of donated blood can save up to three lives. And yet, the blood transfusion process is still not without flaws – in addition to healthy blood cells, transfused blood can also contain harmful materials such as the anticoagulant-preservative solution used to keep the cells alive during storage.
Luckily for transfusion recipients, Sergey Shevkoplyas is working to improve the quality of transfusion blood at the Cullen College of Engineering department of biomedical engineering. Shevkoplyas, who is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston, is developing technology that will filter harmful materials out of healthy blood cells just before transfusion.
Shevkoplyas’ research has now been highlighted in a new article in the Medical Journal – Houston, one of the leading sources of healthcare business news in the Houston metro area. The article outlines the promise of Shevkoplyas’ technology but also the engineering hurdles he faces, including the slow speed of filtering due to very narrow channels on the filtering system. “That’s the big challenge,” Shevkoplyas said. “Adapting our understanding of microfluidics to a high-throughput device is not very simple, though we do have some good data to show we can do it.”
Read the full article here.