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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Characterization of carrier erythrocytes for biosensing applications
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Paper Abstract

Erythrocyte abundance, mobility, and carrying capacity make them attractive as a platform for blood analyte sensing as well as for drug delivery. Sensor-loaded erythrocytes, dubbed erythrosensors, could be reinfused into the bloodstream, excited noninvasively through the skin, and used to provide measurement of analyte levels in the bloodstream. Several techniques to load erythrocytes, thus creating carrier erythrocytes, exist. However, their cellular characteristics remain largely unstudied. Changes in cellular characteristics lead to removal from the bloodstream. We hypothesize that erythrosensors need to maintain native erythrocytes’ (NEs) characteristics to serve as a long-term sensing platform. Here, we investigate two loading techniques and the properties of the resulting erythrosensors. For loading, hypotonic dilution requires a hypotonic solution while electroporation relies on electrical pulses to perforate the erythrocyte membrane. We analyze the resulting erythrosensor signal, size, morphology, and hemoglobin content. Although the resulting erythrosensors exhibit morphological changes, their size was comparable with NEs. The hypotonic dilution technique was found to load erythrosensors much more efficiently than electroporation, and the sensors were loaded throughout the volume of the erythrosensors. Finally, both techniques resulted in significant loss of hemoglobin. This study points to the need for continued development of loading techniques that better preserve NE characteristics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2017
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 22(9) 091510 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.9.091510
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 22, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Sandra C. Bustamante López, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Kenith E. Meissner, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Swansea Univ. (United Kingdom)

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