Blood Platelets; Heart-Assist Devices; In Vitro; Microfluidics
- Additve Manufacturing for Medical Research - M3dRES
Research Area: The M3dRES project aims at establishing a unique infrastructure devoted to 3d-printing for medical research in a strongly interdisciplinary environment.
My research is focused on blood platelets and their behavior in the presence of mechanocirculatoy pumps. Contact with artificial surfaces and abnormal blood flow are two factors acting as platelet activation agonists. These may result in severe consequences for patients implanted with biomedical devices, such as thrombi and thromboembolic events. My thesis project aims to develop a novel artificial surface modified via micropatterning of specific microstructures intended to reduce the adhesion of platelets. Further, it has been necessary to design an assay ad hoc for testing these peculiar surfaces. The assay is a microfluidic system in which blood is perfused with the same shear stress levels experienced in the pump and with analog conditions to the realistic ones.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
This project is a collaboration between the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratory and the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and with other partners involved in the manufacturing process: UpNano GmbH, Profactor GmbH and Lithoz GmbH, BST (Bionic Surface Technologies) GmbH. All the microstructures have been firstly printed via 2-Photon Polymerization printer at the UpNano and at our center where we own such technology. Then, the microstructures were replicated via Nano Imprinting Lithography (NIL) at Profactor and finally imprinted on the surface by employing a high-quality ceramic material provided by Lithoz. At our center and the at BST have been run the microfluidic computational simulation of this system.