Nav: Home

Miniature version of human vein allows study of deep vein thrombosis

May 05, 2020

DALLAS, May 5, 2020 -- The Vein-Chip device, a miniaturized version of a large human vein, allowed scientists to study changes in vein wall cells, blood flow and other functions that lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in humans, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine Scientific Sessions 2020. The meeting is a virtual event in 2020, to be held May 5-7, and is a premier global exchange of the latest advances in new and emerging scientific research in arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, vascular biology, peripheral vascular disease, vascular surgery and functional genomics.

The Vein-Chip is a translucent hollow chamber which serves as a miniature version of a human vein with similar architecture and cellular function. The chip allows researchers to test various human endothelial cells to differentiate various factors - gender, race, ethnicity and more - revealing which populations may have more or less DVT risk. In the end, the technology might allow for more personalized therapies for vein diseases.

"Within the Vein-Chip, we cultured endothelial cells retrieved from human veins that line all sides of the chamber and form a venous vessel. Blood drawn from participants was perfused via a syringe pump under the same physical conditions one would expect in a patient," said Abhishek Jain, Ph.D., lead study author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University's College of Engineering in College Station, Texas. "With this micro-chip, we simulated various functions, - and we could introduce toxins and medications to make the vein diseased and cured over time. We can also observe these processes to understand changes in gene and protein expression of the cells."

Three discoveries were made in this study of the Vein-Chip. Researchers found:

Under a normal healthy state, if a DVT risk factor like slowing blood flow occurs, the body might try to adapt by releasing anti-clotting factors. This adaptation happens within the vein pocket only and suggests that medications should be locally delivered at the site most affected by the disease.

Clot dissolving medications delivered through the vein do not always easily reach the clot in the vein pocket. This suggests new strategies are needed that could enhance the local transport of drugs to the vein pockets.

Human veins have pockets of different shapes, resulting in different extents of clotting, or thrombosis. As a result, venous architecture is an important DVT contributor.

Human veins consist of pockets that are one-way, pumping valves transporting blood from the legs to the heart. "It is in these pockets where blood flow can become unstable. The living cells, that line the walls, called endothelial cells, can switch from being normal to inflammatory. The inflammation results in clots that can then break apart, reach the small vessels of the lungs and brain and block the organ's blood supply, causing death from stroke," Jain said. "Venous pockets have been largely overlooked in venous thrombosis research, even though they are the primary sites of blood clot formation."

One of the challenges of research to develop technologies such as this is human trials can be conducted only after successful animal studies, according to Jain. "This is considered by many funding agencies to be a high-risk concept. Seeing a technology like this through to human studies requires a leap of faith among basic scientists, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, the FDA and funding agencies," he said.

Navaneeth K.R. Pandian is the study's co-author. Author disclosures are in the abstract. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health and the Texas A&M University funded the study.
-end-
Note: This study will be presented at 12:30 p.m. CT, May 6, 2020; the virtual event is available here (virtual meeting login will be linked here).

Additional Resources:

Researcher photo available on the right column of the release link https://newsroom.heart.org/news/miniature-version-of-human-vein-allows-study-of-deep-vein-thrombosis?preview=60b43298bafed1633163b6a831c54da0

Beware of risk in the veins

What is venous thromboembolism?

Follow news from the American Heart Association's Vascular Discovery Scientific Sessions 2020 via Twitter: @HeartNews #VascularDiscovery20

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association's policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

American Heart Association

Related Blood Flow Articles:

3D ultrasound enables accurate, noninvasive measurements of blood flow
A 3D ultrasound system provides an effective, noninvasive way to estimate blood flow that retains its accuracy across different equipment, operators and facilities, according to a new study.
Blood flow recovers faster than brain in micro strokes
Work by a Rice neurobiologist shows that increased blood flow to the brain is not an accurate indicator of neuronal recovery after a microscopic stroke.
Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory.
3D VR blood flow to improve cardiovascular care
Biomedical engineers are developing a massive fluid dynamics simulator that can model blood flow through the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution.
MRI shows blood flow differs in men and women
Healthy men and women have different blood flow characteristics in their hearts, according to a new study.
Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.
Blood flow monitor could save lives
A tiny fibre-optic sensor has the potential to save lives in open heart surgery, and even during surgery on pre-term babies.
Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate
Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish.
Blood flow command center discovered in the brain
An international team of researchers has discovered a group of cells in the brain that may function as a 'master-controller' for the cardiovascular system, orchestrating the control of blood flow to different parts of the body.
Researchers closer to new Alzheimer's therapy with brain blood flow discovery
By discovering the culprit behind decreased blood flow in the brain of people with Alzheimer's, biomedical engineers at Cornell University have made possible promising new therapies for the disease.
More Blood Flow News and Blood Flow Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.