New Studies Identify Causes and Treatments of Blood Clots Related to COVID-19

Although predominantly a respiratory disease, COVID-19 has been shown to cause a range of responses, including adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. Some patients showed an inflammatory response that may trigger thrombosis, and there is a high incidence for those with severe illness.

In the first paper, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania identified key mediators of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in COVID-19 patients that correlated positively with platelet activation in the BioFlux system. The team also demonstrated that the Syk inhibitor fostamatinib reversed platelet hyperactivity in BioFlux experiments. The researchers concluded that this represents a distinct, targetable signaling pathway to modulate this effect.

In the second paper, University of Tuebingen researchers demonstrated that reduced cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) levels in platelets increased antibody-induced platelet coagulation and thrombus formation. These effects were inhibited by Iloprost, a clinically-approved therapeutic agent that increases intracellular cAMP levels in platelets.

Both papers relied on the BioFlux system to assess platelet function in COVID-19 patients. The BioFlux system acts as an “artery on a chip” that precisely controls the cell micro-environment to mimic conditions in the human body, providing an ideal platform for blood function research related to COVID-19. Used in more than 500 labs globally, the BioFlux system is available in a variety of configurations to meet the application requirements of any laboratory. Systems are available with a range of capabilities and throughputs and are used in basic research through drug discovery and diagnostic development.

 

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