Multiple PI’s “Platelet Investigators” in the Devine Lab

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) investigators Elena Levin, Craig Jenkins, Brankica Culibrk and Katherine Serrano in the lab of Dr. Dana Devine, and Maria Gyongyossy-Issa from the Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine have been studying the quality of platelets, a key blood transfusion component that is essential to prevent bleeding. These CBR scientists designed a platelet Quality Monitoring Program (QMP) to establish an understanding of platelet products produced by CBS. The aim of the program was to thoroughly investigate the quality of the platelets produced by two different methods: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or buffy coat (BC). A team of expert platelet investigators (PIs) was assigned to the task.

Katherine, Elena and Brankica

A panel of platelet tests known to reflect the platelet storage lesion (the progressive deterioration of platelet quality during storage) was used to assess platelet products from CBS production sites across Canada once a year for four years. Twelve units from each site were shipped for analysis to Dr. Devine’s laboratory at the CBR the day after expiry. Tests included CD62P expression by flow cytometry, mean platelet volume and platelet count, platelet morphology, platelet metabolic parameters and platelet responsiveness to ADP.

As they reported in the journal Transfusion (2012 Apr;52(4):810-8), significant improvement of platelet quality was observed after the new buffy coat method was implemented. CD62P expression on the platelet surface, which reflects platelet activation / degranulation, was determined to be a sensitive marker, capable of identifying differences across production methods, production years, and production sites. It could also identify process implementation errors.

Implementation of a QMP identified key parameters which could be useful measures to assess platelet quality. Additionally, it has proven to be a useful program to assess, monitor and troubleshoot production processes.

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