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Journal of Blood Transfusion
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6140239, 11 pages
Review Article

Could Microparticles Be the Universal Quality Indicator for Platelet Viability and Function?

1LightIntegra Technology Inc., 650-999 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1K5
2Canadian Blood Services, Centre for Blood Research, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada
3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
4Hematopathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, British Columbia Children’s Hospital, 4480 Oak Street, Room 2K49 Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3V4

Received 19 August 2016; Revised 27 October 2016; Accepted 6 November 2016

Academic Editor: Denese Marks

Copyright © 2016 Elisabeth Maurer-Spurej and Kate Chipperfield. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High quality means good fitness for the intended use. Research activity regarding quality measures for platelet transfusions has focused on platelet storage and platelet storage lesion. Thus, platelet quality is judged from the manufacturer’s point of view and regulated to ensure consistency and stability of the manufacturing process. Assuming that fresh product is always superior to aged product, maintaining in vitro characteristics should preserve high quality. However, despite the highest in vitro quality standards, platelets often fail in vivo. This suggests we may need different quality measures to predict platelet performance after transfusion. Adding to this complexity, platelets are used clinically for very different purposes: platelets need to circulate when given as prophylaxis to cancer patients and to stop bleeding when given to surgery or trauma patients. In addition, the emerging application of platelet-rich plasma injections exploits the immunological functions of platelets. Requirements for quality of platelets intended to prevent bleeding, stop bleeding, or promote wound healing are potentially very different. Can a single measurable characteristic describe platelet quality for all uses? Here we present microparticle measurement in platelet samples, and its potential to become the universal quality characteristic for platelet production, storage, viability, function, and compatibility.