Aggregometer, often referred as platelet aggregation system, is used to determine the function of platelets, which is an integral part of laboratory testing since the 20th century. Platelets are important in blood coagulation and wound repair carried out through a process known as platelet aggregation. Platelets are known to play an important role in thrombotic, vascular ischemic, and hemorrhagic disorders associated with blood. Hence, anti-platelet therapy (APT) is regarded as the cornerstone for many coronary conditions and has also given rise to development of new anti-platelet drugs and various tests to determine platelet functioning. An aggregometer determines how well the platelets in a sample coagulate or stick to each other. It is involved in measuring the turbidity of sample under testing and also denotes the time required for the platelets to clump or coagulate.
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A typical aggregometer test requires platelet rich plasma (PRP), a photometer, cuvette that is equipped with stir bar and can be heated up to 37 ºC. Light transmission is the basic principle of aggregometer, wherein light transmission is directly proportional to platelet aggregation. Platelet poor plasma (PPP) from each individual or subject is used for setting a reference value, as plasma from each individual differs. Agonist (platelet activators) is added to the sample and then changes in transparency are noted for platelet rich plasma (PRP).
Aggregating agents such as arachidonic acid, thrombin, and collagen are added while the changes in optical density of the sample is used in order to plot the aggregation graph. Changes are represented in graph format, wherein 0% represents no change in transparency, thus interprets no platelet aggregation, while 100% represents clumping or aggregation of platelets as sample changes from cloudy to transparent enabling passing of more light through the sample.
Aggregometer is most commonly employed technology for decades as a reliable diagnostic tool in clinical research laboratories. It has various applications such as testing the efficiency of anti-platelet therapy drugs in subjects and determines the inhibitory and excitatory effects of drug on platelets. It is also used in in vitro testing to determine platelet function in human samples prior to clinical trial testing. There are aggregometers available in market that include several test modes. The total number of channels in an aggregometer is directly proportional to the number of independent tests that can be performed at a time simultaneously. Some of the aggregometers available not only detect the platelet function, but are also capable of diagnosing the sample for von Willebrands disease.
Technological advancement and various applications of aggregometer in medical interventions are the major drivers of the aggregometer market. Other major drivers include extensive research and development accomplished since the 20th century to bring innovations in the usage of aggregometer. For example, manufacturers and researchers are taking efforts to design aggregometers that utilize less volume of blood while providing rapid test results, thus making it user-friendly and minimizing the time for further interventions. Fast track development of new medical devices primarily for blood testing drives the aggregometer market.
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Various other reliable tests or devices are entering the market, thereby decreasing demand for aggregometers. This acts as a key restraint of the market. Aggregometers are used across the world without following any globally accepted standards or procedures. Furthermore, frequent use of customized regents and procedures leads to inconsistent results. These factors are likely to hamper the market in the near future.
The aggregometer market has been segmented based on technology, application, end-user, and region. In terms of technology, the market has been segmented into optical density and electrical impedance. Based on application, the aggregometer market has been segmented into clinical diagnosis, clinical trials (drugs), and research. In terms of end-user, the market has been segmented into hospitals, clinical laboratories, and research institutions. In terms of region, the aggregometer market has been classified into Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, and Latin America.
Major players in the aggregometer market are Bio/Data Corporation, Chronolog Corporation, Helena Laboratories, Perfusion, and Hart Biologicals.
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