A wide variety of clinical conditions associated with low circulating platelet counts and risks of haemorrhage require platelet transfusion to normalize hemostatic function. For that purpose, platelets are isolated from whole blood collected from healthy donors and stored under blood bank conditions. The deterioration of these platelet concentrates (PCs), associated to the presence of pathogens, prompted the development of pathogen reduction (PR) strategies. Although PR strategies are highly efficient at reducing pathogen contamination, they may also compromise the functionality of the treated platelets. Through research funded by Canadian Blood Services, we have shown recently that PR strategies induce platelet activation as well as the release of microRNAs and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) from platelets, likely through microparticles (MPs). Considering that platelet MPs are known to activate platelets and to exert pro-inflammatory effects, we reasoned that platelet MPs released by PR platelets may amplifying platelet activation in PCs, and adversely affect the cells of the circulatory system upon transfusion. As we aim to develop a MPdepleting device, with interested corporate partners for an eventual commercialization and implementation in the clinical practice, this project may significantly improve the quality and safety of PCs, and have a major impact in transfusion medicine.
National Training Program