Our objectives were to determine the separation characteristics and blood product quality of a gravity-driven microfiltration blood separation system (HemoClear, The Netherlands).
A range of centrifugal blood separation devices, including intraoperative cell salvage devices (cell savers) and apheresis machines, are available to assist in preparing both allogenic and autologous blood products. These devices are expensive to operate and require extensive training.
Methods and Materials
Nine whole blood units were collected under standard conditions and analysed for haematological parameters, thromboelastographic properties, platelet morphology and activation, and red blood cell (RBC) deformability and morphology. Three whole blood units were separated by means of the HemoClear device, into a liquid and cellular component. The cellular component was diluted with SAGM and cold stored for 14 days. To simulate cell salvage six whole blood units were diluted with isotonic saline, followed by multiple HemoClear separation rounds.
The recovery of both RBCs (100 ± 1.6%) and white blood cells (99 ± 4.5%) after undiluted filtration were very high, while platelet recovery was high (83 ± 3.0%). During the filtration, and cold storage after filtration storage both the non-deformable RBC fraction and the RBC maximum elongation remained stable. Parameters of thromboelastography indicated that platelets remain functional after filtration and after 7 days of cold storage. In the cell salvage simulation the total protein load in the cellular fraction was reduced by 65 ± 4.1% after one washing round and 84 ± 1.9% after two consecutive washing rounds.
The novel blood filter studied effectively separates whole blood into diluted plasma and platelet-rich RBCs. Moreover, the device effectively washed diluted whole blood, driving over 80% of proteins to the liquid component.
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