Red blood cells (RBCs) have ability to undergo large deformations when subjected to stresses, which allows the RBCs to pass through capillaries narrower than resting RBC diameter.
A slight decrease in red cell deformability may cause important disturbances in the blood circulation of micro-vessels, but also in blood vessels whose lumen is diminished markedly by atherosclerosis or thrombosis.
Recent clinical observations have reported that reduced RBC deformability is a common risk factor for circulation diseases including diabetes, sepsis, malaria, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, myocardial ischaemia, stroke and other circulation disorders. A growing body of scientific evidences indicates that cell deformability can be used to identify patients at risk for cardiovascular diseases at earlier stage.
Cell deformability test - one that is performed at the patient point of care and that delivers results in just a minute - would give healthcare providers a valuable tool for diagnosing and preventing circulation disorders.
CSS is the minimum shear stress needed to disaggregate RBC aggregates, and appears to be an excellent index to represent RBC aggregation.
First, CSS is hematocrit-independent so hematocrit correction is not required, whereas for the CSR, the AI increases and the threshold shear-rate decreases when the hematocrit increases.
Second, CSS holding dimensional unit such as the millipascal (mPa) is a more physical value to compare directly with those measured with other devices than any other aggregation indexes. Most conventional aggregation indexes such as the M-index use arbitrary unit; therefore, the results obtained cannot be compared across studies.
Furthermore, CSS also reflects cellular factors as well as plasmatic factors. Therefore, CSS appears to be a potentially useful index to represent RBC aggregation.
Ultimately, anyone at risk of developing circulatory disorders will benefit from better technology for measuring cell deformability and critical shear stress. Quick and easy measurements at the point of care will provide earlier detection of the circulatory diseases including diabetic kidney disease and diabetic retinopathy , allowing patients to be treated on time and to have healthy life.
RheoScan received approval from Korea Food & Drug Administration(KFDA) though GMP tests as a First class medical device in Dec., 2005. Furthermore, RheoScan have declared CE for high quality manufacturing and management.
RheoScan formed key partnerships with leading research and medical institutions such as Kyungpook National University Hospital, Korea University Hospital-Artificial Organ Research Center, and has scheduled a number of clinical studies through to further validate the relationship between the biophysical properties of cell deformability and circulatory disorders.
The RheoScan-AnD is the first point-of-care device for measuring the biophysical properties of blood cells. By integrating leading-edge technologies such as laser-diffraction, microfluidics, image-processing, RheoScan' innovative disposable chip can measures a patient's blood cell deformability and critical shear stress (CSS) within a minute.
The RheoScan-D™ consists of a main unit, plastic microchip and a laptop pc. Blood drawn from a patient finger-stick (5 ㎕) is diluted with PBS solution and loaded in a single-use, finely fabricated microchip where it is read by the main unit. The results are presented in la minute via graphical interfaces on the monitor.
The RheoScan-AnD™ provides hemorheological data of RBC deformability and critical shear stress at patient point of care, allows for early detection of unrevealed, silent circulatory diseases such as diabetic complications.