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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

Synthetic Platelets

  • Project Leaders: Maria Gyongyossy-Issa
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $284800
  • Program/Competition: Other Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

Platelets, or thrombocytes, are the first responders to vascular injury and are critical to stop bleeding. There is a huge demand for platelets for treatment of patients with bleeding disorders or low platelet counts including cancer patients receiving chemotherapy as well as trauma patients, patients undergoing major surgery and wounded soldiers who have sustained large blood losses. Worldwide, about 8 million platelet units are transfused per year but their use is associated with significant issues: the short 5-day storage life and a risk of transfusion reactions such as infections and immune reactions. This project is further developing a synthetic platelet that mimics the earliest function of blood platelets: the adhesion to the sites of vascular damage. The objective of this project was to develop fully synthetic blood platelets that can replace human-derived platelets used in clinical practice. No significant difference in bleeding between buffer control and treatment groups was observed. This raised questions around the suitability of the in vivo model as well as the reproducibility of the formulation. Current data does not support moving this project forward as planned.