Single-cell Level Biophysical Control of Platelet Production from Megakaryocytes

Type of Award: Catalyst
Date Awarded: March 2017
Award End Date: February 2019
Amount Awarded: $ 250,000.00
PI(s): Jae-Won Shin, UIC; William Miller, NU;

Abstract: More than 2 million units of platelets are transfused every year in the U.S. Disruption of the supply and a 5-day shelf life can result in critical shortages. Also, platelets are stored at 22 degree Celsius, so there is risk of bacterial contamination. Thus, it would be very useful to generate platelets on demand. Platelets are made from megakaryocytes (MKs) in marrow, but it remains challenging to efficiently produce platelets outside the body. Platelet biogenesis is highly biophysical: mature MKs in marrow extend tendrils called proplatelets into a neighboring blood vessel, and are fragmented by blood shear to form platelets. However, it remains unknown how this process can be recapitulated to achieve efficient platelet generation. By combining the expertise of Dr. Shin at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dr. Miller at Northwestern University, we hope to develop novel engineering strategies to maximize the biophysical control of platelet production from MKs.