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Constructing a platform for testing biomarkers of (infected) red blood cells

Böhmer, J.E.J. (2018) Constructing a platform for testing biomarkers of (infected) red blood cells. Master's Thesis / Essay, Applied Physics.

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The search for biomarkers is inevitable for treating some of the world’s major diseases like cancer and malaria. Red blood cells, responsible for the oxygen transfer to tissue, are affected by numerous of complicated clinical conditions. Alterations in deformability and aggregation of red blood cells can cause vascular complications and influence the flow behaviour of blood, hemorheology, a strong indicator of diseases. Microfluidic systems can be used to study intrinsic single-cell properties with high throughput. This thesis will be about the creation of such a platform that enables simultaneous study of two potent known biomarkers of red blood cells: deformability and the intrinsic tendency to disperse aggregates subjected to shear forces, disaggregability. The design of the microfluidic device contains arrays of slits, a fraction of the diameter of red blood cells, in a microfluidic channel through which the red blood cells have to travel. The velocity of cells through the slits is associated with the deformability and the fraction of aggregates that disperse due to shear forces is related to the adhesion potential. The assay is able to measure significant differences in velocities and disaggregation fractions between blood samples from healthy donors and type 2 diabetes mellitus donors, a disease that is known to affect deformability and aggregation of red blood cells. The results are in accordance with the hypothesis, but might be caused by other parameters. Additional experiments are required to understand the effect of all parameters on the results, which is needed to exclude them from the relevant properties of red blood cells.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Applied Physics
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:34
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:34

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