A press release from Canadian Blood Services touts a device that should allow longer shelf life of stored platelets. Elisabeth Maurer, a clinical assistant professor of pathology from the University of British Columbia and its Centre for Blood Research, invented the device:
The instrument, called a Dynamic Light Scattering Platelet Monitor (DLS-PM), is the first to measure the quality of blood platelets – a key blood component that is transfused specifically to improve clotting and stop bleeding.
Currently, there is no routine test to measure quality of platelets. World standards dictate that platelets must be used within five days to avoid possible risk of bacterial infection. Using the DLS-PM, in conjunction with improved platelet storage practices and changes to blood operator regulations, platelets could be stored for 8-14 days, following a single-step quality test.
Platelets have the shortest shelf life of any blood component because refrigeration destroys their viability. In addition, although platelets less than five days old are viable, there are variations in quality. The monitor will allow blood analysts to improve the way blood products are matched to the patient…
“We hope to dramatically increase the storage time for platelets with this instrument,” says Maurer, an expert in physical chemistry. “Also, we’ll now know within 15 minutes which is the best platelet product for the patient.”
The DLS-PM, roughly the size of a large shoebox, contains a unique holder that grips a tiny vial – about the diameter of a toothpick – of platelet concentrate. When a beam of light is passed through the vial, platelet particles scatter light in all directions.
Using a computer attached to the instrument, technicians can determine platelet viability by analyzing patterns of scattered light that measure platelet shape, response to change in temperature, and the number of microparticles shed from platelets over time.
The press release…