FATIGUE OF HUMAN RED BLOOD CELLS IN HEALTH AND DISEASE
Ming DaoGrand Ballroom B
Human red blood cells (RBCs) are responsible for delivering oxygen to the organs and tissues from the lungs. During its lifespan, an RBC needs to squeeze through the smallest openings (i.e., smallest capillaries and splenic interendothelial slits) in the human body many times, and go through repeated hypoxia-normoxia cycles. Using our established microfluidic platform, we have shown that both mechanical fatigue and hypoxia-normoxia fatigue (through hypoxia-normoxia cycles) may cause significant mechanical degradation of RBCs. The results are compared between healthy RBCs and sickle cell disease (SCD) RBCs, and provide underlying mechanisms for a much shorter lifespan of SCD RBCs.