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Michael Eigenschink
Dr. med. univ. Michael Eigenschink

Center for Medical Biochemistry, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Division of Neonatology, Intensive Care Medicine and Neuropediatrics), (Institute of Medical Genetics )
Position: PHD Student

ORCID: 0000-0001-6469-5014


Anemia, Neonatal; Developmental Biology; Erythrocyte Transfusion; Erythrocytes; Erythrocytes, Abnormal; Erythropoiesis; Innate Immunity

Research interests

pRBC-transfusion and preterm infants:

Approximately 90% of ELBW (<1000g) and 50% of VLBW (<1500g) infants receive at least one pRBC-transfusion during hospital stay. Whilst there exists a robust association between pRBC-transfusion and occurence of adverse outcomes, efforts to improve transfusion practice in this vulnerable cohort have failed. As adult erythrocytes show high interdonor-variability in various physiological functions and vastly differ from RBCs of preterm infants, we employ state-of-the-art techniques to allow for "precision transfusion" by characterising the quality of pRBCs.

Development of novel blood-products:

Due to stark differences in various biocellular parameters, conventional pRBC transfusion into preterm infants may be regarded "unphysiological". Thus, together with the Red Cross Austria and the Department of Transfusion Medicine (AKH-Wien) we aim to tackle this problem by producing a novel blood product based on the cord blood of term infants.

Erythrocyte physiology:

Due to their pivotal role in oxygen distribution, functions distinct from gas exchange have been widely ignored. Interestingly, an increasing bulk of evidence suggests erythrocytes to be involved in Red-Ox homeostasis, regulation of vascular tone, haemostasis, innate immunity and nutrient exchange. Accordingly, one of my main research interests is to investigate RBC functions distinct from gas exchange.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • Flow cytometry: spectral, conventional, FACS
  • Biochemistry: enzymatic recycling assays, RedOx-Assays, Spectrophotometry
  • Molecular biology: western-blot, SDS-page, PCR, etc.
  • *omics: Proteomics, Metabolomics, RNAseq
  • Cell culture: in-vitro erythropoiesis
  • Biophysics: 3D-printed microcapillary systems, membrane flickering, microwaving
  • Data-analysis: RNAseq/metabolome analyses, clinical data analysis, R

Selected publications

  1. Bellach, L & Eigenschink, M. et al. (2022) ‘Packed red blood cell transfusion in preterm infants’, The Lancet Haematology, 9(8), pp. e615–e626. Available at:
  2. Eigenschink, M. et al. (2021) ‘Redox Properties of Human Erythrocytes Are Adapted for Vitamin C Recycling’, Frontiers in Physiology, 12. Available at:
  3. Doberer, K. et al. (2021) ‘Torque Teno Virus Load Is Associated With Subclinical Alloreactivity in Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Prospective Observational Trial’, Transplantation, 105(9), pp. 2112–2118. Available at:
  4. Eigenschink, M. et al. (2023) ‘Cross-sectional survey and Bayesian network model analysis of traditional Chinese medicine in Austria: investigating public awareness, usage determinants and perception of scientific support’, BMJ Open, 13(3), p. e060644. Available at:
  5. Eigenschink, M. et al. (2020) ‘A critical examination of the main premises of Traditional Chinese Medicine’, Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 132(9–10), pp. 260–273. Available at: