Description:
Background
Currently, the state‑of‑the‑art clinical methods for identifying Sepsis rely on microbiological techniques that require 2-3 days to complete. However, a point-of-care technology that can diagnose Sepsis from the RBC physical properties does not exist. Current techniques do not allow for the comprehensive characterization of RBC aggregation ‑‑ for a complete analysis of RBC aggregation, RBC aggregate size distribution, aggregate resistance to disaggregation (shear stress), aggregate morphology, and aggregation kinetics need to be quantified. Furthermore, a comprehensive technique should be able to distinguish between plasmatic and cellular factors that lead to aggregation.
 
Technology Overview
The proposed technology will make these measurements a hundred times faster and derive more specific information on red blood cells, such as the aggregation rate and single aggregate electric properties. The technology could be used for the diagnostic of certain diseases such as Sepsis.
This technique is robust and effectively measures the amount of Rouleaux in a droplet of blood, as well as the RBC surface interaction energy, the RBC size, and other hemorheologic parameters under different shear conditions in a microfluidic device. These parameters are obtained by using impedance spectroscopy. This technique also enables one to differentiate specifically Sepsis from Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. 
 
Benefits
‑ Cost-effective
‑ Time-efficient 
‑ The growing size of aggregates can be directly measured by impedance spectroscopy
‑ Able to distinguish plasma or cell-based factors leading to cell aggregation
‑ Can report single aggregate electrical properties and kinetics of red blood cell aggregation
 
Applications
‑ Diagnosing Sepsis for timely treatment
‑ Diagnosing sickle cell disease
 
Opportunity
‑ License
‑ Partnering
‑ Research collaboration
Patent Information:
Category(s):
2. Physical Science
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
m.saulich@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Nadine Aubry
Keywords:
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
In Vitro Diagnostics
Red Blood Cell Aggregation