Researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have engineered red blood cell (RBC) carriers that release therapeutic proteins when stimulated by light, with the help of a honey bee peptide.
In this week’s Biomicrofluidics, a method to characterize the shape recovery of healthy human RBCs flowing through a microfluidic constricted channel is reported. This investigation revealed a coupling between the cell’s mechanical properties and the hydrodynamic properties of the flow. In addition, the method could distinguish between healthy red blood cells and those infected by the malaria parasite. This suggests a possible new technique for diagnosing disease.
Blood can typically be stored for only six weeks after donation, but a potential solution attempts to dry blood by using a sugar-based preservative. New work in ultrasound technology looks to provide a path to inserting these sugars into human red blood cells, allowing the molecule trehalose to enter the cells and prevent their degradation when dried for preservation. The researchers discuss their work in this week’s Biomicrofluidics.