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Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 392584, 14 pages
Review Article

Obstacles in Haemocompatibility Testing

HaemoScan and Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, UMCG Groningen, The Netherlands

Received 13 March 2013; Accepted 3 April 2013

Academic Editors: E. A. Abou Neel and B. S. Kang

Copyright © 2013 W. van Oeveren. 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.


ISO 10993-4 is an international standard describing the methods of testing of medical devices for interactions with blood for regulatory purpose. The complexity of blood responses to biomaterial surfaces and the variability of blood functions in different individuals and species pose difficulties in standardisation. Moreover, in vivo or in vitro testing, as well as the clinical relevance of certain findings, is still matter of debate. This review deals with the major remaining problems, including a brief explanation of surface interactions with blood, the current ISO 10993 requirements for testing, and the role of in vitro test models. The literature is reviewed on anticoagulation, shear rate, blood-air interfaces, incubation time, and the importance of evaluation of the surface area after blood contact. Two test categories deserve further attention: complement and platelet function, including the effects on platelets from adhesion proteins, venipuncture, and animal derived- blood. The material properties, hydrophilicity, and roughness, as well as reference materials, are discussed. Finally this review calls for completing the acceptance criteria in the ISO standard based on a panel of test results.