Photos of the Day: Spleen on a Chip

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 10:50am
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

To rapidly cleanse the blood of pathogens, the patient's blood is mixed with magnetic nanobeads coated with a genetically engineered version of a human blood 'opsonin' protein that binds to a wide variety of bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, and toxins. It is then flowed through microchannels in the device where magnetic forces pull out the bead-bound pathogens without removing human blood cells, proteins, fluids, or electrolytes – much like a human spleen does. The cleansed blood then flows back to the patient.

The Spleen-on-a-chip, developed at the Wyss Institute, will be used to treat bloodstream infections that are the leading cause of death in critically ill patients and soldiers injured in combat. [Credit: Wyss Institute]

Read the full story here.

The technology makes use of specialized blood proteins and magnetic forces to pull pathogens from the blood. [Credit: Wyss Institute]

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